Science Defeated – a poem by Kate Rauner

No experiment is a failurebiohazard_sign_jean-chri_01.svg.med
Unless the data’s lost.
But science fails daily
And we pay the cost.
Why should you share results
If you paid the bill?
Why publish any finding
That won’t help to sell your pills?
‘Cause when the field’s medicine
Withholding has a cost,
A price that every patient pays
In health or money lost.
You have an obligation,
To an ethic you are bound.
Science only prospers
When you publish what you’ve found.

I’m enough of a libertarian to believe my rights are equal to those of a corporation. Europe is ahead of America here. Below are three links to videos from AllTrials Campaign (alltrials@senseaboutscience.org or use #AllTrials) on why we urgently need all clinical trials registered and the results reported.

Withholding results costs lives – The results of a 1980s clinical trial on heart drug Lorcainide were never published. Doctors didn’t know that more people died in the trial who were given Lorcainide than who were taking the placebo. It has been estimated that over 100,000 people died avoidably because they were prescribed drugs in the same class.

Doctors are being misled – Dr Ben Goldacre prescribed the antidepressant Reboxetine for a patient but says he was “misled.” Results from trials which showed it was worse than other drugs were withheld, while the smaller number of trials which showed it worked better were published.

Medicine is broken – The UK Government has spent £424 million stockpiling Tamiflu, an anti-flu treatment, but we still don’t know if this treatment works any better than placebo. Regulators weren’t given information from all the clinical trials done on Tamiflu. The manufacturers of Tamiflu didn’t break any laws by withholding the information.

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