Journals

Scottish Universities Medical Journal 2014: Volume 3, Supplement 1

                                                  Can we Rely on Science?

Please find below the list of articles and their abstracts. Individual articles can be downloaded from the links provided.

Download entire SUMJ Vol3 - Supplement 1 as a PDF

 

Can We Rely on Science? (Editorial)

 

Lloyd D Hughes (5th year MBChB, University of Dundee; Associate Editor, Scottish Universities Medical Journal)

Editorial for Volume 3 Supplement 1 of the Scottish Universities Medical Journal.

Cite this article as:
Hughes LD (2014). Can We Rely On Science? Scottish Universities Medical Journal. 3(supp1):s4

 

The State of Science and Unreliable Research

Lloyd D Hughes (5th year MBChB, University of Dundee; Associate Editor, Scottish Universities Medical Journal)

Abstract:

Scientific endeavours in all fields have helped develop and shape society across the globe. In 
the past decade the sheer quantity of research and data has been staggering, with 90% of all 
data being obtained since 2011. In the face of this sheer quantity of research and data there 
are legitimate concerns that quality may be being compromised for a number of different 
reasons.  There are concerns that the peer‐review process is not as effective as it should be,  
that papers reporting negative results only account for a small proportion of main stream 
journal  articles,  and  that  the  competitiveness  of  science  and  academia  is  discouraging 
verification studies particularly in basic sciences and promotes exaggeration and cherry‐
picking of results.  

Such  concerns  are  legitimised  by  the  tenfold  increase  in  retractions  from  mainstream 
journals in the past decade. In addition to wasting time and resources such flawed research 
may place patient lives in jeopardy. Indeed, between 2000 and 2010, 80,000 patients took 
part in clinical trials based upon research that was later retracted (either due to error or 
improprieties). This paper aims to discuss some of the areas including the competitiveness 
of science and academia, publication bias, the weaknesses of peer‐review and ‘hidden’ data‐
sets. 

Cite this article as:
Hughes LD (2014). The State of Science and Unreliable Research. Scottish Universities Medical Journal. 3(supp1):s6-s11

 

Has the pharmaceutical industry commandeered evidence-based medicine? 1] Problems

David Christmas (Consultant Psychiatrist, Advanced Interventions Service, NHS Tayside)

Abstract:

The  pharmaceutical  industry  has  come  under  increasing  scrutiny  in  recent  years  because  of  its 
practices.  For  example,  financial  penalties  imposed  by  the  US  Government  and  other  agencies  on 
pharmaceutical  companies  between  1991  and  July  2012  exceed  $30  billion.  More  worryingly,  in 
recent  years  there  has  been  increasing  attention  on  some  of  the  failures  of  multiple  parts  of  the 
wider system including pharmaceutical development, safety monitoring and regulation.  


This  paper  will  examine  some  of  the  techniques  used  by  the  pharmaceutical  industry  to  market  their 
drugs,  and  examine  the  reliability  of  some  of  the  claims  and  counter‐claims  being  made  regarding 
the impact that such practises have upon evidence based medicine. 

Cite this article as:
Christmas D (2014). Has the pharmaceutical industry commandeered evidence-based medicine? 1] Problems Scottish Universities Medical Journal. 3(supp1):s12-s18

 

Has the pharmaceutical industry commandeered evidence-based medicine? 2] Solutions

David Christmas (Consultant Psychiatrist, Advanced Interventions Service, NHS Tayside)

Abstract:

Evidence‐based  medicine,  rather  than  providing  a  mechanism  to  challenge  questionable  claims  has 
become  another  tool  through  which  covert  advertising  and  promotion  furthers  the  industry’s  aims, 
rather  than  benefiting  patients.    This  paper  will  review  how  some  of  the  techniques  used  by 
pharmaceutical  companies  affect  evidence  based  medicine,  before  suggesting  potential  solutions  to 
some of these challenges.   


It  may  be  some  time  before  confidence  can  be  fully  restored  in  academic  medicine,  and  clinicians 
and  patients  can  be  reassured  that  published  study  outcomes  are  free  from  influence.  There  are 
changes  occurring  which  are  moving  towards  greater  transparency,  and  some  pharmaceutical 
companies  are  speaking  the  right  language,  but  only  time  will  tell  whether  the  pharmaceutical 
industry are prepared to shake off their chequered past and change for good.

Cite this article as:
Christmas D (2014). Has the pharmaceutical industry commandeered evidence-based medicine? 2] Solutions. Scottish Universities Medical Journal. 3(supp1):s19-s25

 

The Human Genome Project: Undervalued Ingenuity

Iain J Hyndman (3rd year MBChB, University of Dundee)

Abstract:

This article aims to inform medical students and clinicians about the Human Genome Project 
(HGP). The article discusses the barriers that have been broken down to allow for wider 
access to genetic testing and the potentially negative effects that an increase in genetic 
testing may have on patients. It is hoped that by contrasting the triumphs of the HGP (such 
as  personalised  medicine)  with  the  potential  pitfalls  of  the  project  (such  as  genetic 
discrimination), readers will develop an enhanced understanding of the HGP. 

Cite this article as:
Hyndman IJ (2014). The Human Genome Project: Undervalued Ingenuity. Scottish Universities Medical Journal. 3(supp1):s26-s28