Open data: seize the momentBMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7332 (Published 31 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7332
All rapid responses
What if the appraisers of our medical colleagues who work in the Pharmaceutical Industry highlighted this as a probity issue?
What if the Responsible Officers then put it down as non-engagement?
Might revalidation claim its first spectacular success?
Competing interests: No competing interests
Because several fundamental changes have occurred, around the world, in the traditional dynamics of all social spheres, during the last nineteen hundred years, that historical period may be called the revolutions’ century. In many countries revolutions in their political organization were done during that time with sit down strikes, demonstrations, hunger strikes, mass meetings, knives, bullets, guns, and other kinds of armaments and weapons. Today changes in social paradigms are done with cell phones, web and internet. The order in health and educational sectors is being radically transformed by new technologies. As never before, people who desire to express freely their ideas, as product of their daily experience, have found new ways to say them. Dictators cannot silence their opponents who are organized in Twitter, MySpace, Linkedin, Facebook, or in other social networks. We will see revolutions and the becoming of new paradigms in medicine that could not have happened a few years ago when most workers and researchers, around the world, did not have a cell phone, and there was no web, and no internet or computer areas.
Ben Goldacre´s video is “an acre of gold”. It’s a good example which shows us that there is not only corruption in the political sector but also in the health one. That video reminds us now of some historical memorable political moments as for instance the Watergate scandal in the U.S. in 1972, or most recently the Italian football scandal that came to light in 2006 where the true information was managed by only a few people in order to take economical advantage. The football team followers thought that the sporting results of their team during 2004 and 2005 were the logical result of the natural football skills of team players and not the result of conversations between the team general managers and officials of Italian football to influence referee appointments.
The world now is more transparent than before. In our judgment, we are living in one of the brightest moments of contemporary world where we can report, using the powerful web 2.0 tools, abuses of offices, cover up, bribery, selling of favors, and any other kind of thing. Nowadays, blogs, wikis, podcasts, videos, and vodcasts are very important virtual devices for publicly denouncing all that is bad in ethics, principles, morals, manners or actions that occur in any social sector.
A lot of periodical publications posted on several web 2.0 sites touch our heart. Entering those sites is like visiting a remarkable and memorable place with which one person makes emotional connections. We enjoy very much watching the contents of several medical interesting sites. We welcome the entering of computers in the health sector, and the influx of very good, new, world resources. They promote the truth not as a glamorous perception of things, but as a way to act against corruption.
Competing interests: No competing interests
What would I do now, if I was CEO of a pharmaceutical company? (Apart from being scared?)
I would launch a scathing attack on the medical industry, highlighting the paucity of evidence for most clinical practice, and query whether we're even looking in the right direction for the causes of mortality. (1, 2)
I would highlight the nonsense of the separation of mind and body, which is clearly wrong and unscientific. (3)
I would query why UK plc spends £100bn per annum on the NHS, and a further £100bn on 1:13 of the working age population, who state they are too ill to work. (4)
Illich predicted medical nemesis 40 years ago. (5) Let's hope that the assault on Pharma Phraud is the first skirmish in addressing the hubris of medical practice.
1. Hadler N. The Last Well Person. 2007 McGill-Queens
2. The Spirit Level. Wilkinson R. 2010. Penguin
3. Mind Body Medicine. Watkins A. 1997. Churchill Livingstone
4. DWP data in IB claims. 2008
5. Limits to Medicine. Illich I. 2001 Marion Boyars.
Competing interests: Turkey voting for Christmas