Tag Archives: uk

GE uses UK libel law to silence Danish researcher

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Following in the footsteps of several other device manufacturers and medical interests, GE Healthcare is using UK libel laws, which some describe as “draconian,” to attempt to muzzle a Danish physician who helped discover links between the GE drug Omniscan and the debilitating and sometimes fatal disease nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.

ProPublica’s Jeff Gerth, who has been all over the Omniscan story for a while now, reports in The Sunday Times (and on ProPublica) on the lawsuit and the science, economics and politics behind it. The prominent Danish researcher, who noticed the link after a number of his patients came down with NSF, delivered a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation in Oxford in 2006 in which he referred to Omniscan as a potential “medical hurricane.” To date, GE has spent more than $600,000 fighting the claims with a libel suit.

British skeptics rethink drug policy over a few beers

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

On BMJ.com, guest blogger Annabel Bentley relates the proceedings of a local chapter of “Skeptics In The Pub” (their Facebook page is here) in which they heard the ex-chairman of the UK government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs speak in favor of an evidence-based approach to drug policy.

beer
Photo by sjgardiner via Flickr.

Saying that alcohol is one of that country’s greatest drug problems, the ex-chairman (who lost his job for making similar remarks [PDF]) argued that drugs should be classified based on their relative harms.

Bentley also links to a fun Skeptics in the Pub piece in The Economist, this one about Skeptics coming together in defense of a journalist being sued by the British Chiropractic Association over a piece he did considering the effectiveness of their profession.