A talk hosted by Kellogg College and the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University Museum of Natural History, as part of the University's Alumni Weekend.
Presented by Carl Heneghan, Jeff Aronson, Deb Cohen, Ben Goldacre, chaired by Sharon Mickan. Is it surprising that individual and institutional self-interests in research, combined with increased global competition, undermine scientific integrity? Regulatory systems that aim to underpin health research are under considerable strain. Keeping track of, and explaining why research goes wrong, is an important priority for delivery of sustained health outcomes, and support of the conduct of high quality research. Deb Cohen’s investigative work has highlighted that revision rates for hip joints are at least double that of other materials. Despite earlier reports from Australia that the implant was causing problems, the metal on metal hip continued to be widely used. Ben Goldacre believes medicine is broken. “And genuinely believes that if patients and the public ever fully understand what has been done to them – what doctors, academics and regulators have permitted – they will be angry.” Jeff Aronson has spent a lifetime researching adverse drug reactions, and perceives there is considerable room for improvement in our understanding. Whilst, Carl Heneghan has shown that the regulatory framework for drugs is so lax, it is not surprising that devices over time have proven to be deadly.