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Bad science Clinical trials Medicine Politics

Remdesivir: Gilead wins with unimpressive results announced by press release

On Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced positive results for the antiviral drug remdesivir treating COVID-19. They were unimpressive and, suspiciously, announced by press release rather than scientific paper. It’s all very fishy, but one thing’s for sure. Gilead Sciences will make boatloads of money.

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Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Quackery

Acupuncture for xerostomia: Spin, spin, spin a negative study!

Investigators at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center reported the results of a trial of acupuncture for xerostomia (dry mouth) secondary to radiation therapy for head and neck cancers. It was a negative trial, but investigators still tried to spin it as positive, but with a twist. There was a large difference between results found at M.D. Anderson and the second site in China. What could be going on?

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Antivaccine nonsense Bad science Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

Antivax pediatrician Liz Mumper suggests “criteria” for knowing COVID-19 vaccines are safe

Dr. Liz Mumper is associated with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s antivax organization Children’s Health Defense. She recently gave a presentation asking: How will we know that a COVID vaccine is safe? It’s a presentation that provides an excellent example of how to identify if someone is antivaccine.

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Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking

The placebo narrative: Justifying integrative medicine through exaggeration

I write quite a bit about placebo effects. Of course, part of the reason is that placebo effects are just plain interesting from a scientific perspective. After all, if one can relieve symptoms with inert sugar pills or other ineffective interventions because of the power of expectation, that’s something we should want to understand. Also, […]

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Antivaccine nonsense Bad science Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

Why is Peter Doshi still an editor at The BMJ?

Peter Doshi is at least borderline antivaccine and has been casting doubt on vaccine efficacy since 2009. Earlier this month, he posted a badly flawed “analysis” casting doubt on the efficacy of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Why does The BMJ still employ him?