Monthly Archives: November 2016

Post-marketing withdrawal of anti-obesity medicinal products: benefits versus harms, profits versus losses


A research article published in BMC Medicine investigates the withdrawal of anti-obesity drugs from the market because of serious adverse reactions. In this guest blog, authors Igho Onakpoya, Carl Heneghan, and Jeffrey Aronson, from the University of Oxford, discuss the poor benefit to harm balance of many anti-obesity drugs and conclude that drug companies have profited while patients who have suffered adverse reactions have lost.


Large underreporting of network meta-analyses conducted by contracting companies commissioned by industry


Network meta-analyses are extremely useful if you want to compare the effectiveness of three or more interventions by collating both the direct and indirect evidence on a clinical question. It’s known that contracting companies often conduct network meta-analyses for the biotech and the pharmaceutical industry but until now no one has looked into what extent that this is happening and whether they are being published. Here, Ewoud Schuit and John Ioannidis discuss their research looking into this, published in Systematic Reviews, and discuss the implications of the huge underreporting that they found.

Medical Evidence Medicine

Useful data: developing standards for describing clinical research data across repositories


Movements towards increased transparency have resulted in more and more documents, journal publications and original datasets relating to specific clinical trials being included in a wide range of repositories. This is a great direction for the field but if we are to use these ‘data objects’ in the most effective manner, we need to establish consistency in the way they are described (and therefore searchable) across these repositories. Steve Canham and Christian Ohmann from the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network have recently published a Methodology in Trials proposing standards for consistent descriptions of these data objects and here, both authors highlight its importance for the field and summarize their proposal.

Health Medical Evidence Medicine

Pulmonary hypertension in the eyes of a clinician and a patient


This week (19th-27th November) in the UK is Pulmonary Hypertension awareness week. The theme for this year is “Let’s talk about PH” so we thought we’d do just that by inviting Dr. Stylianos E. Orfanos, Professor of Critical Care and Medicine at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, to give us a comprehensive overview of the disease as well the current treatments available and the barriers that can prevent patients form being effectively treated.

Health Medicine

Clinical trial management in a digital age


Why do clinical trials still rely on paper-based data entry methods when there are so many technologies available to improve trial efficiency? New research published today in Trials provides a case study of integrating technology into trial design for a complex intervention and here, co-authors Cheney Drew and Vincent Poile discuss its impact on efficiency and what they see the future to hold for trial management.

Medical Evidence Medicine Technology