Below is an assortment of articles and resources from recent weeks that may be of interest to Croakey readers.
They cover everything from Indigenous health policy, to pharma marketing, swine flu, sexual assault, and developments in evidence-based practice and transparent government.
New resource for evidence based crowd
• The (virtual) Centre for Evidence Based Practice Australasia (CEBPA) says it is not a typical website but an evolving ‘cloud’ (or collection) of EBP resources from across Australia and New Zealand, with particular emphasis on Australasian content. Its ‘ownership’ is dispersed, resources are pooled and collaboration is all-inclusive. The site also links to this blog on evidence-related issues, as well as many other resources.
Premature marketing syndrome
• Pharma is rushing to create a market for premature ejaculation treatment. This Wall Street Journal blog spills the beans on how Sciele Pharma has embarked on a media campaign before its treatment for premature ejaculation has hit the market. They were making the rounds at newspapers and magazines in an effort to raise awareness of the condition and their product, even though the company hasn’t asked regulators for approval yet.
• This New York Times article gives some of the history of HRT and the creation of the menopause industry.
• Creating more open and accountable Government, Obama-style. This blog gives an overview of some US Government initiatives, especially in the health arena. Wouldn’t it be nice if Australian health bureacracies and agencies were similarly inspired?
Flu by any other name
• Swine flu is a catchy name but it doesn’t really encapsulate the full history of this “promiscuous” virus, according to the Pump Handle, a public health blog. It is also infecting cats, dogs, and ferrets, amongst other creatures.
Indigenous health policy
• This MJA article, raising questions and concerns about a new policy to encourage a more proactive treatment of Indigenous patients with chronic diseases, is well worth a read. It is by Dr Sophie Couzos and Dea Delaney Thiele from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, and was also reported here by Adam Cresswell in The Australian.
Some evidence-based history
• A journalistic history of evidence-based medicine. This article from Business Week is a few years old now, but it’s still timely and relevant especially in these times of health reform. It’s based largely on the work of EBM-guru David Eddy, a heart surgeon turned mathematician and health-care economist.
Sexual assault on campus
• A series of articles in the Sydney Morning Herald recently focused attention on a damaging culture at the University of Sydney’s colleges. As this series by the Center for Public Integrity in the US makes clear, the problem is not limited to any one institution or even country. This is a terrific example of not-for-profit funding being used to do an indepth, multi-media investigation which should be of use to many, including in Australia.
Medical schools and COI
• Update on US medical schools’ introduction of disclosure rules for faculty, from Wall Street Journal blog. Meanwhile, Australian medical schools are still coming to grips with this issue.