“Highly publicized cases of fabrication or falsification of data in clinical trials have occurred in recent years and it is likely that there are additional undetected or unreported cases. We review the available evidence on the incidence of data fraud in clinical trials, describe several prominent cases, present information on motivation and contributing factors and discuss cost-effective ways of early detection of data fraud as part of routine central statistical monitoring of data quality. Adoption of these clinical trial monitoring procedures can identify potential data fraud not detected by conventional on-site monitoring and can improve overall data quality.”
The New York Times: The Age That Women Have Babies: How a Gap Divides America by Quoctrunk Bui and Claire Cain Miller
Ronald Bayer, Ph.D., and Sandro Galea, M.D., Dr.P.H.
“The NIH’s most recent Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories report (www.report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx) shows, for example, that total support in fiscal year 2014 for research areas including the words ‘gene,’ ‘genome,’ or ‘genetic’ was about 50% greater than funding for areas including the word ‘prevention.’…The proportion of NIH-funded projects with the words ‘public’ or ‘population’ in their title, for example, has dropped by 90% over the past 10 years, according to the NIH Reporter.”
“Without minimizing the possible gains to clinical care from greater realization of precision medicine’s promise, we worry that an unstinting focus on precision medicine by trusted spokespeople for health is a mistake — and a distraction from the goal of producing a healthier population.”
NEJM: Public Health in the Precision-Medicine Era by Ronald Bayer, Ph.D., and Sandro Galea, M.D., Dr.P.H.
“Earthlings is a 2005 American documentary film about humankind’s total dependence on animals for economic purposes. Presented in five chapters (pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research) the film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, featuring music by Moby, and was written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson.”
How Not to Die describes the numerous health benefits of eating a plant-based diet. After reading through half the book, I watched Earthlings to see arguments from the animal rights activists for eliminating animal products from the dinner table. Personal health has always been my primary interest for minimizing meat consumption. But the message in this documentary is just as difficult to ignore as it is to watch.
There are some valid counter arguments to abandoning meat, which are listed in this reddit thread. The most compelling was that from an Indian man who argues he will not stop eating meat nor stop providing it for his family because he has genuine concern that his children my not survive due to malnutrition. Perhaps citizens of the more developed nations are the primary audience for this documentary.
I have watched a handful of anti-meat documentaries, and often they appeal to emotions such as shame, guilt, or anger. Earthlings takes a more objective role, showing film of industrial animal manufacturing in the United States. It was refreshing to be treated as a neutral observer, instead of being reprimanded. There are definite appeals to emotion, but the dialogue in the documentary is more calm than any I’ve seen before.
Earthlings has made me reconsider my current relationship with meat and animal products. I imagine I have grown up with more livestock experience than many of my neighbors. I learned from my family to slaughter fish, chickens, turkeys, and rabbits for food. I attempted a pescatarian diet for several years in my twenties, but only for personal health reasons. This is the most cognizant I have been of my indirect participation in the massive consumption of animals, and what that actually means.
Three Stages of Truth
- Violent Opposition
Attributed to German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860)
- Nation Earth: Earthlings 10th Anniverary Edition
- Michael Greger, MD: How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
- Reddit: People who didn’t after watching ‘Earthlings’ – why not?
- Reddit: Indian man’s comment
- University of Waterloo: Science, Pseudoscience, and The Three Stages of Truth by Jeffrey Shallit
Prolific child neurologist and author, Dr. Siegel uses a variety of images to explain what he thinks should be taught to children in America.
He uses his hand to provide a concrete visual model of the brain.
He also summarizes his “mindsight” model as a combination of brain, mind, and relationships. He expounds on the over emphasis of brain, or somatic, focus in mainstream culture and medical school. He argues we neglect the education of mind and relationships after children graduate kindergarten.
TEDx: The Power of Mindsight by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. – 10/18/09
“The drugmaker Merck said Thursday that it would lower prices on several drugs by 10 percent or more, but its rollback affects minor products and would not lower the cost of its top-selling, expensive cancer and diabetes products.”
The New York Times: Merck Is Lowering Drug Prices. There’s a Catch.
The Profits of Nonprofit
The surprising results when drug development and altruism collide
January 1, 2011|
“In 2002, the company identified a promising off-patent antibiotic once cast aside by a large pharmaceutical company for its lack of profitability. Since the drug had been previously approved and marketed in the late 1950s as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, iOWH was able to skip directly to a phase III clinical trial to test the drug as a treatment for visceral leishmaniasis. The trial commenced in 2003, and just three years later—record time in the drug development world—paromomycin was approved for sale in India…”
“Though the idea of a nonprofit pharmaceutical company is still new, nonprofit foundations and institutes have long been a staple in biomedical research funding in the United States. But they too are breaching the barriers between profit and nonprofit, adopting best practices from the for-profit business world…”
“Victoria Hale has also made a move toward borrowing business strategies, this time not only to enable nonprofits to develop drugs, but to make and market them without Big Pharma’s help. In 2008, she left iOWH to found a “second-generation” nonprofit pharmaceutical company called Medicines360. With a focus on women and children’s health, Medicines360 aims to become self-sustaining over time, using revenue from sales of its products at a premium price in the West to subsidize the same products for those who can’t afford them in developing countries. The company is currently developing an intrauterine device (IUD) for contraception…”
“In the United States, L3Cs, low-profit, limited-liability companies, now bridge that gap. Eight states have passed legislation that permits the creation of L3Cs—defined as socially beneficial for-profit ventures. Many companies have adopted the status, including alternative-energy companies, newspapers, and food companies, but no pharmaceutical or biotech company has yet attempted the model, according to L3C experts. That’s not to say they won’t, however.”
The Scientist: The Profits of Nonprofit
Physician Payments from Industry Are Associated with Greater Medicare Part D Prescribing Costs
A population of healthy volunteers that are full-time tests subjects for clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry
The New Yorker: Guinea-Pigging