Gimpy's GimpyBlog

Protecting The Monopoly of Pharmaceutical Drugs

Posts Tagged ‘Research’

Silly Season

Posted by gimpygimpy on 11/07/2010

Hey there campers,

I’ve been on holiday so haven’t posted for a while. I’m hoping you’re on holiday too and missing this one, cause my blog is getting to be like Discovery Channel – all re-runs in slow motion. Mummy said I was getting a bit blunt, so she made me bring my spade and bucket to the beach and do some real digging.

Take my last entry for example: ‘Homeopathic Action Trust still funding unethical trials’. Shock, horror indeed! A bit like saying Tesco is still selling Marmite or England can’t play World Cup football. I think it must be Silly Season, and my last blog is certainly full of it.

I started with the old ‘WHO have criticised these activities’, linking to a BBC post from before they made a public apology, admitting that they were ‘hasty and mistaken in posting the article’. WHO would know?

I then go on to say that HAT is now ‘expanding into India’. That’s like saying France can win the World Cup – (Mon Dieu, quelle bouffonnerie). Everyone knows there are already 300,000 homeopaths in India, and that the Indian government supports homeopathy big time. We once tried to stick our foot in there and it got bitten off (A bit like Italy’s World Cup efforts).

I then go on to mention some homeopathic research in Africa. Now we can’t allow that, because there’s no research to back it up. So if there is no research, you can’t do any research, and we can carry on saying there is no research, even though we know there is loads of research. Bit like England, see- they won the Cup in ‘66 and haven’t stopped claiming they can win it since. We call it ‘perpetual farce’ in the industry.

What else could I say against research? Well how about the good old ‘...medical trials on people with an incurable disease who do not have access to appropriate healthcare’. The only thing is, I then stuck foot in gob by quoting: ‘carry out a scientifically verifiable study on the effect of Homeopathy as a treatment for the side effects of the ART’. Well if it’s side effects of ART, then they do have access to treatment. Oops! But who would notice that? Just like Maradona, if you make enough song and dance no one will notice you have no game.

I top it all off by saying that the study appears to be in breach of the ethical requirements for human trials. Well of course I know that these trials can only go ahead with full ethical approval, but you don’t! Just like ‘not sure why we lost’ England manager Capella.

I start the blog by saying ‘As regular readers will know’ haha. All three of them! Me, Warhelmet my faithful puppy, and the mysterious Angus Wood (hehehe!!!!). Good thing the homeopaths themselves have wised up and stopped reading my blog. I’m slip sliding down the Google rating now. So what! I’ll be back and England will win the next World Cup. I’m sure of it!

Thank god I’ve got the doctor’s vote against homeopathy on the NHS to write about next. So exciting! I smell blood and I love it. Watch this space, my two faithful readers.

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Down and out in Paris and London

Posted by gimpygimpy on 16/04/2010

I’ve been quiet for a while, sorry. I’ve been pretty down – It just seems that there is nothing much to say, things are crumbling.

Our campaign against CAM is floundering. The more we attack, the more it seems to thrive. It appears that after every attack we launch on the homeopaths more people buy those bloody remedies. Homeopathy is thriving again. My guess is that everyone is bored with our antics. Personally I think it all started after that dumb 10:23 campaign. I never liked it in the first place. Worse still over 60 MP’s have now signed on the EDM supporting homeopathy. I guess that’s what they call backlash

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40517&SESSION=903

All in all this month has gone badly. It started with Edzard Ernst being given the boot by Exeter University. I guess even his sponsors realised he has passed his sell by date. Then poor old Simon Singh had to resign from his post at the Guardian amid much collective sobbing from his fan club.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/mar/12/simon-singh-goodbye-libel-reform

Simple Simon says: The problem is that I have spent the past two years being sued for libel, which has taken up huge amounts of time. And now all my remaining spare time is being devoted to campaigning for libel reform. The crippling and prohibitive financial cost of defending a libel case is often highlighted, but the equally terrible cost in terms of time and stress is rarely mentioned.

Singh later won his appeal on April fool’s day, but as the poor fellow constantly reminds us in his whimpering, he lost 200,000 pounds. Ouch, I bet that hurt! And those chiropractors know their business, they aren’t going to let go. They spend six years studying how to crack people’s bones and deal with law suits, so I suppose they ‘adjusted’ his bank balance.

Another surprise was Randi coming out of the closet – what a trick from the master magician. Naturally I support him being gay, so no problem of course. But imagine suppressing your sexuality till the age of 81. I mean what would that do to your mind –  fry it, I suppose. Maybe it is difficult for him to deal with his truth. Once a trickster always a trickster.

http://www.metroweekly.com/news/last_word/2010/03/the-amazing-randi-is-gay-debun.html

Talking of identities being revealed, another one that had to come out of the closet recently was my old mate Crack of Bent, who got exposed through a gaffe on map, and had to come clean for all to see. Embarrassing, restricting and a source for a lot of trouble

I’ll be totally honest here (not my usual style I know). I am terrified of being exposed like Randi and Allen. I’ve done my very best to hide my identity, but there are signs of some people doing very serious diggings. I really don’t want my sources, connections and sponsors out of the closet, and most of all I don’t want my employers to know about my nocturnal activities.  I guess my brain will have to fry too – losing a lot of sleep lately.

Posted in Edzard, gimpyblog, Rezearch, Sense about Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

From Wurst to Burst

Posted by gimpygimpy on 08/03/2010

This has been a bad week. Haggis on my wee face  as they say in Scotland.

Not only have 44 MP’s now put their name to the EDM supporting homeopathy

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40517&SESSION=903

And not only have 2700 people signed the petition supporting homeopathy

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Homeopathy1/

But now the primary evidence debunking  the Autism – Vaccination link has been found to be a major hoax in the best tradition of Pharma funded research (And, don’t I know how that works, cause hey! I’m both a researcher and Phrama funded. Coincidence? Synchronicity?)

Read it here:

A Danish scientist who was a key researcher in two studies that purport to show that mercury used in vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine do not cause autism is believed to have used forged documents to steal $2 million from Aarhus University in Denmark according to reports in the Copenenhagen Post Online and a statement from Aarhus University.

Poul Thorsen, MD PhD, headed up a research unit at Aarhus University that was hired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prepare a series of studies that would exonerate thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative and adjuvant used in vaccines, and the MMR vaccine from any role in causing autism. The veracity of the three studies he co-authored is now in doubt.

These studies formed the foundation for the conclusions of several Institute of Medicine reports that claimed that it was highly unlikely that thimerosal or MMR were implicated in autism.

Autism advocacy groups have published extensive analyses on Thorsen’s studies and found many problems in methods, assumptions and conclusions that are supported by the data. And Thorsen is the lynchpin in the series of studies used to dismiss concerns about thimerosal and MMR causing autism.


But the final pie is that our own linchpin and role model professor Edzard Ernst is about to find himself on the dole!

The University of Exeter unit, headed by Edzard Ernst, Britain’s first Professor of Complementary Medicine, could shut next year unless new finance can be found.

Read about it here:

Now why would the ‘Company’ stop funding dear Izzy? Maybe because our campaign is going pear shaped?  Makes me  really nervous!

Anyways, lucky we have some friends in the right places. A bit of puff and a bit of spin, blame prince Charles and a touch of Pharma wand (all the usual stuff), and Izzy will be right back where we need him. Good old Sarah Boseley from the Guardian got on the case, and presto, the tables are turning. Sarah has been a good friend in the past, with nice little articles like ‘Simon Singh and the silencing of the scientists’, ‘Stop homeopathy funding, says Commons committee’ ‘The drug industry needs Capitol Hill on its side’ and of surprise, surprise   ‘Lancet retracts ‘utterly false’ MMR paper’

You can read Sarah wrapping Ernie in candy floss in the Guardian ‘life and style’, just beside a similarly flavored article on  ‘how to cook the perfect sausage’ Check it out here:

But even I got a bit of a chill down my spine when I saw his pic. Brrrr. A bit Dr. No, no?  I shudder to think how those CAM sheep feel when Edzard the wolf  launches into them.

Quote from the Article:

Homeopaths and their friends at Buckingham Palace must be rubbing their hands. The scourge of complementary medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst, may be facing the closure of his unit at the Peninsula medical school in Exeter. While there is plenty of money in alternative therapies, the funding to allow Ernst to test them scientifically is running out.

Haha! Plenty of money in alternative medicine -even I had to laugh at that one -nice touch!

Anyway, thanks again Sarah! A friend in need indeed. Hmmm. I wonder If Sarah will be publishing something on good old Poul Thorsen from Denmark and his bunked vaccination research. Halloo- I don’t think so!!  Just check out this fine example of Sarah spin on AIDS vaccination. Yes minister would be proud:

The world’s first attempted Aids vaccine proved a failure yesterday when, after four years’ work, the Californian biotech company VaxGen announced that trial results showed that it did not protect those at risk of HIV infection.

But…

All credit must go to VaxGen for pushing ahead with its vaccine trials, which are a lengthy and very expensive business.

And

Is the news from VaxGen completely disastrous? No. First, any mass trial produces data that will be useful for future attempts, and VaxGen has said it intends to carry on with the work on the vaccine

I wonder if Sarah would have the same very lenient attitude to homeopathic research. Noooo, cause homeopathy’s got nothing in it, and vaccinations have mercury, see! That’s science!

Isn’t it amazing how a paper like the Guardian got so left-wing it turned into Panzer Division? All Yin and Yang hey! Reminds me a bit of good old days at the LM and Spiked Magazines– Marxist to Stalinist in one quick flip.

Posted in gimpyblog, Lovely Drugs, Rezearch, Sense about Science, Vaccination | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

From bad to worse

Posted by gimpygimpy on 03/03/2010

I’ve really had a bad week! There are now 30 MP’s signed up on that EDM. This is backfiring badly. And if homeopaths carry on writing to their MPs there will probably be more. Lucky most of them are lazy twerps who wouldn’t pick up a pen to save their ass.

Here is what the EDM says:

That this House expresses concern at the conclusions of the Science and Technology Committee’s Report, Evidence Check on Homeopathy; notes that the Committee took only oral evidence from a limited number of witnesses, including known critics of homeopathy Tracy Brown, the Managing Director of Sense About Science, and journalist Dr Ben Goldacre, who have no expertise in the subject; believes that evidence should have been heard from primary care trusts that commission homeopathy, doctors who use it in a primary care setting, and other relevant organisations, such as the Society of Homeopaths, to provide balance; observes that the Committee did not consider evidence from abroad from countries such as France and Germany, where provision of homeopathy is far more widespread than in the UK, or from India, where it is part of the health service; regrets that the Committee ignored the 74 randomised controlled trials comparing homeopathy with placebo, of which 63 showed homeopathic treatments were effective, and that the Committee recommends no further research.

Irritating!!!

Then this whoever it is on The Voice of Not So Young Homoeopathy (What’s that mean, that they are older and wiser then us?!), goes and proves that only 3 MPS voted for the recommendation against homeopathy on the NHS, and most of them were only half there!

Here what the not so old says:

So let’s get this straight – the report and its recommendations that led to the media snow this week, and the dramatic assertion that the public have been duped since 1948 by NHS placebos masquerading as medicine, is the result of a report ratified by THREE MPs: TWO of whom were NOT EVEN PRESENT AT THE COMMITTEE MEETINGS – and ONE of the two was NOT EVEN A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE when the hearings were held, and is due to stand down at the election in May this year.

Shit, Shit, shit. I was really hoping no one would notice that! So now it’s 3 against 30. Lucky we have the media eating out of our hands. Nothing like a bit of spin, eh, Tony?

You can read the whole bloody thing here. I did, and I didn’t enjoy it, so I had to respond somehow. Couldn’t think of much to say, so I just went for the good old ‘Homeopaths are paranoid’ bit. Only thing is, I’m using it a bit too much lately. And as we all know, just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being hacked. Well I know that!

Silly of me to knock Carol Boyce for lobbying her MP, should have checked on that earlier. Anyways, lobbying MP’s is a privilege of the privileged, so leave it to us. What right do you have to lobby, were the experts, so back off!

And to top it all up, me old mate Ben Goldacre goes and writes an article biting off the hand that feeds us! I couldn’t believe it when I read, quote:

Homeopathy doesn’t work. But are the claims for other medicines any better?

Drug ads that don’t back up their claims show how dumb doctors can be about evidence and how lax regulation has become

Talking about Drug research and related advertising in medical journals (such as our Darling Lancet), Ben says:

The results were abysmal. Only half of the claims in the adverts were supported by the specific trials referenced and, of all the trials, only 55% got a score of “high quality”. Overall, only 39.2% of these adverts referenced a high-quality trial which supported their claim. This is not the first time such a study has been conducted. Villanueva and colleagues, in 2003, published a paper in the Lancet assessing claims for cardiac medication adverts in six Spanish medical journals: of the 102 references they could trace, 44% did not support the promotional statement. Similar results have been found in psychiatric drug adverts, and in the field of rheumatology. To offset any suggestion that I am cherry-picking, a review in the Public Library of Science’s open access journal PLoS One found 24 similar studies, and overall only 67% of the claims in adverts were supported by a systematic review, a meta-analysis or a randomised control trial. And he concludes: But it is only the most obvious illustration of the fearsome depths into which these problems extend. We are in very big trouble.

What’s the world coming to? Pass those pink pills, please.

P.S. I was on the verge of getting depressed, but one naïve homeopath made my day and commented on that Homeopathy cancer research  on my blog. Of course we all had a little fun with that. Pity all the other wised up and moved out. Come on boys, keep helping my rating!

Posted in gimpyblog, Lovely Drugs, Sense about Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Oh Happy days

Posted by gimpygimpy on 23/02/2010

Ach this is a happy day for all, ja!

The committee for science and Tech has squashed the homeopaths! If has punched them in the vitalist organs. That is eine joke, ja!

Not sure why I have this German accent coming into my head today. Strange. It’s just that I get so excited  because we have made a big step towards exterminating the homeopaths.  Alzo I feel a certain thrill deep inside, ja!

We got a huge media response!  Everyone is publishing us while  their cancer research will vanish into oblivion just like the Cuban one did. No medical journal will publish those while we have a say! It is good to have control. Ja? Ja!

True that I have chosen to ignore the following sentence from the report

While the Government acknowledges there is no evidence that homeopathy works beyond the placebo effect (where a patient gets better because of their belief in the treatment), it does not intend to change or review its policies on NHS funding of homeopathy.

Never mind, nothing is perfect. We have taken homeopathy away from those with no means, now it is only for those with money to spare (And who has money to spare in the old UK, ja!) But we cannot rest here. We must plan out campaign carefully. Vot I propose to is that we organize a mass burning of homeopathic books in every town square next to Boots. Then we break the boots windows, lots of glass, ja!  That will only be the start. We have the means and we have the technology to exterminate the rest of the résistance. Homeopaths should literally be round up and put away, maybe in special camps. We cannot rest until we have come to a final solution to this problem. Yes I know there are many, many people who use homeopathy, but why should that stop us, it never stopped us before. These people do not know what they are doing, they are stupid ignorant animals and they should not be given the freedom to choose.

The good thing is we have saved a grand total of 9 million pounds, 0,0001% of the NHS budget, so they can now use the money to sponsor more research on drugs like these:

http://www.theday.com/article/20100115/NWS01/100119833/1047

Dr. Scott S. Reuben, a former member of Pfizer Inc.’s speakers’ bureau accused last year of perpetrating one of the biggest research frauds in medical history, was charged today in a federal court in Boston with falsifying medical research studies.

Reuben, formerly chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz accused Reuben of accepting a $75,000 grant from Pfizer to research the effectiveness of pain medication Celebrex for a 2005 study in which no patients were actually enrolled. Prosecutors allege that Reuben made up the data, which he subsequently published in the medical journal “Anesthesia & Analgesia.”

The data supported the conclusion that Celebrex was effective in helping post-operative patients who had received a particular type of knee surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament. “Anesthesia & Analgesia” later had to retract 10 papers written by Reuben, and medical experts at the time said at least 21 journal articles by the anesthesiologist appeared to be fabricated.

Reuben’s studies had been considered pioneering at the time they were published. His data had supported the use of two of Pfizer’s major products — Celebrex and Lyrica — in combination to treat certain types of post-operative pain.

Pfizer said it had supported five of Reuben’s research initiatives. Pfizer, which declined at the time to reveal how much it paid Reuben over the years to be part of its speakers’ bureau, said the company played no part in the fraud.

Last March, Reuben was dismissed from his position at Baystate Medical Center after an audit revealed he had been inventing data for as many as 13 years.

Like I said, it is good to have control! Ja vohl.

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We are nice

Posted by gimpygimpy on 17/02/2010

It’s quite tough being little moi, at the forefront of the battle against those crazy homeopaths. Having run out of real things to say it’s getting harder to come up with good stuff against those weirdos and I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel. Still, good thing I’m anon (or at least I hope I still am), cause the amount of people’s copyright material, baseless facts and slander I’ve had to use on mon blog lately could put me in hot soup (hope that would be French onion!)

You see, I’m really a nice guy! It’s just that those homeopaths keep attacking us. And what have we done to them? Nothing! We were just sitting here minding our Latte’s when out of the blue they launched a hate campaign against us. They are vicious and hate filled conspiracy theorists. They even targeted Evan Harris MP, and a nicer more neutral guy you could not find. I’m so nice I was going to leave them alone but then they had to go and defend themselves against our 10:23 campaign. Can you believe that! Why can’t they just shut up and die quietly?

But what CAN I say when homeopaths go out to help in Haiti. Difficult to complain about that really. Placebo? False hopes? Hmmm… I just don’t think that would cut the mustard. So I just rehashed the same old no evidence stuff, but on a week that a trial like this comes out its a bit difficult, n’est-ce pas? And from no less than the Department of Molecular Pathology, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. I mean those are serious dudes. Pa!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20043074

Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells. The use of ultra-diluted natural products in the management of disease and treatment of cancer has generated a lot of interest and controversy. We conducted an in vitro study to determine if products prescribed by a clinic in India have any effect on breast cancer cell lines. We studied four ultra-diluted remedies (Carcinosin, Phytolacca, Conium and Thuja) against two human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) and a cell line derived from immortalized normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMLE). The remedies exerted preferential cytotoxic effects against the two breast cancer cell lines, causing cell cycle delay/arrest and apoptosis. These effects were accompanied by altered expression of the cell cycle regulatory proteins, including downregulation of phosphorylated Rb and upregulation of the CDK inhibitor p27, which were likely responsible for the cell cycle delay/arrest as well as induction of the apoptotic cascade that manifested in the activation of caspase 7 and cleavage of PARP in the treated cells. The findings demonstrate biological activity of these natural products when presented at ultra-diluted doses.

And the cheeky buggers go on to say: Further in-depth studies with additional cell lines and animal models are warranted to explore the clinical applicability of these agents.

I mean on what basis does that warrant more research? Just cause it worked a bit?! Anyway no problem; you may not know this but in my daytime job I’m a researcher, so I’ll find some holes in that research pretty pronto. Just watch this space!

Posted in Rezearch | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Bad Science out!

Posted by gimpygimpy on 12/12/2009

Today I’d like to talk about research, one of my favourite subjects, cause hey, I’m a research scientist! One of the things you learn as a research scientist (like me!), is that you can knock holes in any research, or on the other hand, you can prove anything you want. That’s really convenient. When it comes to CAM, it’s not much of a problem really, cause you just keep feeding the public with ‘There isn’t any CAM research’, and they just keep repeating it. Really easy! Jolly good thing most of them, even the Doctors, don’t bother to check here for instance: http://www.library.nhs.uk/cam/SearchResults.aspx?tabID=289&catID=12423 But even if they do, like I said, it’s no big problem to knock em’ out of the sky. You just pick and mix the worst ones, make a meta analysis of your choice, and presto, down they go. Then you push it onto a few eager journals (they’ll print whatever the hell my boss tells them to), and on to the BBC which is also in our pocket. Once that’s out, you make a media splash, and bingo, case closed. Like I said, I love research (did I say? I’m a research scientist!) Most important though is my firm belief that any good medicine should be able to prove itself with convincing clinical evidence, and if they can’t, well then it should be goodbye to that medicine! Let me give you one outstanding example (you just must read this, I think it is the right URL) or http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/about/knowledge.jsp Anyway check it out, or see quote below. Out with bad science I say!

From the British Medical Journal, for Christ’s sake. Couldn’t they just squash it?

So what can Clinical Evidence tell us about the state of our current knowledge? What proportion of commonly used treatments are supported by good evidence, what proportion should not be used or used only with caution, and how big are the gaps in our knowledge? Of around 2500 treatments covered 13% are rated as beneficial, 23% likely to be beneficial, 8% as trade off between benefits and harms, 6% unlikely to be beneficial, 4% likely to be ineffective or harmful, and 46%, the largest proportion, as unknown effectiveness (see figure 1)

Gigo- Garbage in Garbage out

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