Friday, October 26, 2007

Memory Hole (26 October): Why there is no scientific fraud in Britain

We english could never commit fraud

5 years ago today: British ethics chief explains why fraud never happens in Britain

On 26 October 2002 Dr Michael Wilks, chairman of the British Medical Association's medical ethics committee explained why research fraud never happens in Britain.

His explanation followed a 26 October 2002 BBC broadcast about the the Duke University study in the USA (see 23 October memory hole). The study showed that clinical trials of many new drugs and treatments are flawed and unethical, and that researchers fail to follow international guidelines in studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

The BBC cited Dr Michael Wilks, chairman of the British Medical Association's medical ethics committee saying:

"It is different in the UK. Studies are approved by research ethic committees before they can go ahead and I don't think there would ever be a case where they would allow a study to proceed if there was a chance that the drug company could prevent publication of the findings."

Have you heard of GSK or Seroxat Dr Wilks? We can think of many other examples I am sure. I have wondered why the BMA ethics committee has said nothing at all about the most serious integrity lapses in medicine, and why fraud is so effectively hidden here. I think we may have the explanation.

We British are just fine.

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Radagast said...

Well, I've been in touch with the MHRA, just recently, about a series of "high profile" cases stateside, and asked whether something similar is happening in the UK. I'm assured by the MHRA that it isn't investigating anything along the lines of Eli Lilly, Janssen Pharmaceutica and Astra Zeneca's recent set-to with the Arkansas AG. Nor is it aware of anything untoward that Trim Bossy Quibblers might be engaged in, in the UK, which might be similar to the activities that just cost it USD515mm in a settlement with the DOJ in the US.

So, I'm sorry Aubrey, but on this evidence, it is quite clear that nobody in the UK is up to no good, and we're all thoroughly decent chaps. Having said that, from what the MHRA has told me of its activities, I can't see that it actually devotes a great deal of time and effort to ensuring that that is true.


Unknown said...

Seems Wilks is yet another scholar who likes to bury his head in the sand!