Monday, May 28, 2007

Greedy Trial Lawyer distorts my comments on Avandia controversy

Today the Greedy Trial Lawyer referenced my discussion on the Avandia hype and built, then easily ridiculed, this straw man:



Dr. RW has a valid point. I am sick and tired of all this gibberish about medicine clogging up the media. What this country needs is a separation of scientific discourse (including medicine) from the public. What possible good comes from public awareness and discussion of scientific matters? We should ban any scientific thought and discourse by anyone without a Dr. before his name.


Heck, I don’t care whether you have Dr. before your name if you want to discuss science. The real points of my argument, which Greedy Trial Lawyer didn’t address, were these:


Scientific discussion was hijacked by CNN, the New York Times, activists and trial lawyers. (Do I really have to explain what’s so wrong with that?).

The “jury verdict” on Avandia was in within hours of the release of the scientifically flawed NEJM meta-analysis.

The irresponsible media hype surrounding Avandia jeopardized not only reasoned scientific discussion but also an important and much needed clinical trial whose future is now in question.

2 comments:

G. T. said...

I see how you believe free speech and a free press are sometimes inconvenient. It certainly was for the tobacco industry and many drug manufacturers who lost control of the message they wanted to deliver to the public.

You probably believe the public is getting too smart for its own good. However, it is the public that suffers from dangerously defective products. Maybe that should count for something. Maybe that is why some stories are "hijacked" by the news media and trial lawyers.

R. W. Donnell said...

g.t,
Concerning--
*I see how you believe free speech and a free press are sometimes inconvenient.*

I love free speech and free press, and I accept the unintended consequences. Same goes for the Internet.

*You probably believe the public is getting too smart for its own good.*

Quite the contrary. If only the public, and the media that supposedly serve them, were a little smarter. As it is, sloppy and inaccurate media coverage serves only to dumb down the public's perceptions.