Posted by AND on February 16, 2006 at 19:06:52:
In Reply to: Re: For Gawds sake people lets get some perspective posted by jim matthews on February 16, 2006 at 15:53:07:
I accept your happy experience with your publishers - in my case contributing chapters of books being published by academic presses the only reviews were that of an editor - certainly not the kind of critical review that you get from journals. Perhaps there's a difference between the hard sciences and the soft sciences?
I don't think we really have much to argue over - the whole point about real science is that it should be highly critical and suspicious of every 'result'. That is or at least it should be its strength. But as you intimate there are huge issues when commercial interests get involved. The non-publishing of negative or inconclusive results - especially in the pharmaceutical field. Testing drugs on prisoners, etc., and the playing down of side-effects are massive issues too. The publish or perish pressure too leads to downright faking of results.
But perhaps it can go the other way too as experience with the new Elan MS drug suggests. MS patients were getting fantastic relief from his new vunder-drug but then it was withdrawn from test because of some apparently quite serious side-effects. It seems now that the effects were not directly linked to the drug and MS patients have had to suffer on in the meantime.
Bearing all that in mind though would you actually recommend that a woman stop giving her child Ritalin because you have a general suspicion of drug companies?
And expanding the argument at what stage would you start recommending drug therapy rather than other forms? Where do you draw the line? Don't take aspirin or paracetamol for colds and flu symptoms? No antibiotics for a bacterial ear or chest infection? No insulin for diabetes? MMR for vaccination of children? Lipitor for those at high risk of heart attacks? Prozac for severe clinical depression? Via gra for impotence? All produced by the same basic companies or generic imitators. How many of us would be alive today if not for antibiotics?
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