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Goldacre’s Munich Agreement - Publishing Data on the Pharma's Terms

Ben GoldacreBy John Stone

A campaign led by British “science” journalist  and academic  Dr Ben Goldacre to make pharmaceutical companies publish their research data is poised to lead to less effective transparency rather than more as a result of draft regulations by the European Medicines Agency  which are likely to have implications for global practice. The problem has been highlighted in Plos-Online guest blog by Trudo Lemmens, associate professor  and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy at the Faculties of Law and Medicine of the University of Toronto  as well as in the blog of whistleblowing psychiatrist Prof David Healy.

The terms of publication as things stand will likely lead to pharmaceutical companies having even more control over their data than before.  Goldacre has been raising funds for the campaign ‘All Trials’  with the politically suspect “science” lobby organization, Sense About Science, whose Managing Director is Tracey Brown  . He is also supported by the British Medical Journal who have long identified partnerships with GSK and Merck.

In his challenge Healy highlights to Goldacre the problem of a scheme which already seems to be meeting with warm endorsement from GSK citing a Lancet editorial jointly written by GSK executive Patrick Vaillance and leading academic patron of ‘All Trials’ Sir Iain Chalmers in which patient confidentiality could become a screen for not making available adverse data.

“On the first point, we have Iain Chalmers and Patrick Vaillance’s editorial making the case for restrictions on access to the data on the basis of patient confidentiality issues. This seems to be endorsed by Tracey Brown in her comments just above. Is there a difference here Ben between you and them?

“There may be distinctions between All Trials and Iain Chalmers and Sense about Science so that it may be possible to claim that AllTrials has said nothing of the sort because its mission statement says almost nothing. As a counter to criticism Tracey and Ben seem to fallback on an AllTrials minimalism. I’m with Mickey Nardo on this one. A strategy of just calling for trial registration and CSRs and not insisting on access to all trial data right now is morally wrong and likely to fail. [AoA emphasis]

“I think it was a terrible symbol to have BG and BMJ welcoming GSK’s offer of transparency. It was very clear from the time this offer was made that it was likely to be a marketing move primarily aimed at diverting attention from the many scandals GSK were involved in then and continue to be involved in and having AllTrials endorsement was the icing on the cake. Mistake or not?”

Readers of Age of Autism will not necessarily be astonished by Goldacre’s apparently ambiguous involvement in this matter (here  and here). Pharmaceutical companies are not philanthropic organizations and they do not have a trustworthy history.

Further comment on CHS ‘EU Draft Safety Law a Disaster’

 John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.




Kim and Child Health Safety, that is very disturbing (American Loons Blogspot). It is cyber bullying and Dr. Ben Goldacre is a Psychiatrist???!!! WTF?? He must have been projecting when he called this "a site for ad hominems and personal vindictive attacks on individuals"! It appears that Dr. Goldacre is more than willing to have friends do his dirty work for him. Does Google think this is ok,this kind of anonymous cyber abuse??? A complaint should be made.

The stat you mentioned about men under 25 or over 50 participating on SCienceblogs rings true. Most don't seem to have any 'skin in the game' when it comes to an honest talk about autism research and causation- look at Orac himself. No children.


The analysis on the Alliance for Natural Health site seems to offer an explanation of what is going on and an inference might be drawn as to why Dr Ben Goldacre got the backing from industry founded not-for-profit Sense About Science. We set out an extract below.

What Goldacre was proposing was by far the easier option for the drug industry than the alternative. So if you were in the drug industry if there were a choice, you would want to opt for the easy option for you.

That is the inference we draw as to why Goldacre was backed rather than let Dr Peter Gøtzsche's model get a chance.

As we do not consider Goldacre to be trustworthy we take a very critical line regarding whether he knows what is going on. But of course you do not have to be as critical as we are and you may give him the benefit of the doubt - although he did graduate from Oxford University with a First in his degree, so that will be a lot of doubt you are giving him the benefit of in our view.

And he of course can come here and answer to set the record straight.

This is an extract from the ANH analysis

AllTrials is all smiles for Big Pharma: Data transparency and the randomised, controlled trial | ANH International


Two recent books have rightfully taken the pharmaceutical industry to task for hiding up to 50% of clinical trial data. One potential solution to this problem – the highly publicised UK AllTrials initiative – may actually make things a great deal worse by placing academia into the hands of pharma marketing departments. Is it time to think again about the randomised, controlled clinical trial (RCT)?

Goldacre and Gøtzsche

When two major books are published in quick succession dissecting pharma’s unpleasant inner workings, people tend to sit up and take notice. Our literary exponents are, respectively, the UK’s Dr Ben Goldacre in his book Bad Pharma and Denmark’s Dr Peter Gøtzsche, in Deadly Medicines And Organised Crime.

Both authors demonstrated beyond any doubt that pharma is out of control, and offered potential solutions. Dr Gøtzsche was far more ruthless than Dr Goldacre, however, and his solutions were considerably more radical: his starting point is that society should be ‘demedicalised’ from its present reliance on unnecessary drugs, beginning with the individual; while Dr Goldacre remains convinced that drugs are absolutely necessary and that “some simple fixes...would put all this behind us...globally, at almost no cost”. Said fix being to force pharma companies to publish all of their clinical trial data, rather than the disgraceful 50% they currently deem suitable for the eyes of the great unwashed – a solution that also forms part of Dr Gøtzsche’s package. Dr Goldacre’s chosen mechanism to achieve this is the AllTrials initiative.

GSK is all smiles at AllTrials

AllTrials scored a notable success when drug giant GSK signed up in February 2013. So is AllTrials all it’s cracked up to be? No-one that we’re aware of is arguing against greater transparency in clinical trials data. However, the devil is in the details: exactly by what mechanisms, under what terms and through what channels will researchers gain access to pharma company data in a new era of ‘full’ transparency?

One man who has considered these questions in enormous depth is Professor David Healy, author of Pharmageddon and founder of the side effect-reporting website Rxisk. He points out – under a forceful title! – that the GSK ‘model’ of universal data access would actually be a disaster for clinical trial transparency and academia alike. The reason is simple: GSK select which researchers see which data and how they are allowed to analyse those data. As Prof Healy spits in disgust: “GSK’s maneuver [sic] has put industry well on the way to making Academia a ghost, a glove puppet manipulated by company marketing departments”.

AllTrials – little credibility?

What’s worse, Prof Healy says, is that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted the same scheme, placing the ‘GSK model’ firmly on the path toward respectability and universal acceptance. If true – and the EMA is denying any “change in direction” over transparency in response to concerns expressed by the European Union Ombudsman – then the credibility of AllTrials is about to crumble to nothing.

Elizabeth Hart

Ben Goldacre, re your reference to a website that “is generally used for vindictive personal attacks on individuals”, you should look closer to home to your own so-called ‘science’ forum, which is particularly antagonistic and spiteful towards anybody raising questions about vaccine products.

I’ve endeavoured to raise serious discussion pertinent to individual vaccine products on your ‘Bad Science’ forum but was met with hostility and derision by people, mostly hiding behind pseudonyms, who were intent on closing down discussion on vaccination and protecting the status quo. See for example:

Is the MMR ‘booster’ necessary?

Is universal HPV vaccination necessary?

Whooping cough epidemic – caused by vaccination?

Lethal flu virus research…

Cancer and immunology

Swine Flu – Where did it go?

Unnecessary vaccination of pets / Daily Mail article

I was permanently banned from participating in your ‘Bad Science’ forum in December 2012 (ostensibly for not responding to a sarcastic and time-wasting person hiding behind the apt pseudonym ‘Pipsqueak’), so the opportunity to publicly air concerns about vaccination on your forum was closed to me. Any questioning of vaccine products and the vaccine industry is effectively verboten on your ‘Bad Science’ forum, which appears to be a gatekeeper for the vaccine industry.

It is truly frightening the way legitimate concerns about vaccination are stifled in our so-called democratic society. As a result, more and more vaccine products are added to national vaccination schedules, with little or no consultation with the community. There is a serious lack of transparency and accountability in this area.

It’s time there was an objective look at the burgeoning vaccine product market. A report published in late 2013 notes: “Totaling just US$5 billion in 2000, today the global vaccine market is worth an estimated $24 billion and is projected to rise to $100 billion by 2025”(1)

Aggressive vaccine marketing by the pharmaceutical industry and conflicted industry-affiliated ‘experts’ is threatening citizens’ bodily autonomy. The potential conflicts of interests of academics working in the areas of vaccine development and promotion, and the influence of these academics on government policy, needs to be examined.

We need an investigation into the relationships between governments, the vaccine industry, and the industry’s handmaidens in the scientific/medical establishment, but who can we trust to do that? The mainstream media has generally been completely useless on this matter, and incapable of providing critical analysis, merely supporting the status quo. Websites such as your ‘Bad Science’ forum play an integral role in stifling debate. Indeed, your dogmatic and bullying ‘science’ forum is a travesty, the very antithesis of what a science forum should be.

Citizens must be allowed to have open and rational discussion on this important subject to ensure public confidence in vaccination practice. All vaccination recommendations must be transparently evidence-based.

Elizabeth Hart

(1) Melissa Pistilli. Global Vaccine Market Experiencing Substantial Growth. Life Science Investing News. 27 November 2013: http://lifescienceinvestingnews.com/1866-global-vaccine-market-experiencing-substantial-growth.html


I find this disheartening considering he has cultivated a persona which appeared to be critical of industry but in fact seems to be the opposite. Trojan horse or something else..
Only time will tell..

That's a trick they all use, in one form or anther, to create the illusion of credibility. The latest trend I've noticed are the 'advocates' who claim to be the parents of ASD kids, yet who consistently undermine efforts to bring the vaccine truth to light, and see justice served upon the architects of this horrible crime.

Ben Goldacre is just another in a long list of paid talking heads, who never REALLY talks about anything of any substance. Just more blah blah blah aimed at demonizing anyone who dares to speak the truth.

You just keep on spinning Ben, because the truth will out. It always does. And when it does, there'll be a pretty clear path back to people like you.

Good luck with that.

Angus Files

As Dr Ben knows honesty is the best policy(WINK)..unless your asked questions on Pharma from AOA...


Poor Dr Ben and his playmates might have to reimburse the money..

GSK salesmen want ‘bribes’ reimbursed (FOR REAL)




better link to my Ben Goldacre posts here:



I have written several posts about Ben Goldacre myself- he has responded similarly on my blog, Healy's blog, and other blogs in the same fashion - re rebuts criticism but does not engage in dialogue or meaningful exchange. His tactic seems to be to tar all his critics with the same brush of 'conspiracy theory'. This is a convenient way to discredit differing views and stifle debate..

It seems to me that Goldacre has more interest in the 'medical establishment mindset' and the protection of it than the stories of patients, defective drugs, or those harmed by pharmaceutical products..

I find this disheartening considering he has cultivated a persona which appeared to be critical of industry but in fact seems to be the opposite. Trojan horse or something else..
Only time will tell..

For my posts on Goldacre and his comments see these:


John Stone

Plenty of questions for Ben to answer, perhaps the biggest being the £40,000+ he collected from people with an industrial lobby organization, Sense About Science, while apparently selling the cause of pharmaceutical data availability down the river? If you were GSK wouldn't you need a false flag enterprise just like this to keep the pressure off? If it was not what Ben intended in the first place what is he going to do about it?


AllTrials is basically in cahoots with a pharmaceutical company who are shelling out billions of dollars in fines for off-label promotion of asthma and antidepressant type drugs. This includes promotion by GSK reps to get doctors to prescribe more antidepressants to children [when they (GSK) knew they were unsafe in children] - Furthermore, Glaxo are being investigated for alleged bribery in China, Iraq, Poland, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan - they are now, it appears, also being investigated by the British Serious Fraud Office.

Alltrials proudly announced that GSK were going to be more transparent with their clinical trial results, it was as if AllTrials had convinced GSK! The ritual of covering themselves in garlands was seen and here we are today.

However, GSK were forced to be more transparent, it was all part of the settlement agreement they made with the US Department of Justice and continue to make with other US states.

I'm kind of dumbfounded by it all really.

I've read the spats between Healy and Goldacre and read the spats on here. "Conspiracy theorists' seems to be a label Ben uses a lot, he did it with me when I approached him on Twitter. His actual words being, "You're one of the angry, smeary conspiracy theorists aren't you?"

Quite why he judged me when I was only asking a question baffles me. I'm, like him, a published author and, like him, a blogger. Unfortunately I don't have the 'DR' in front of my name nor do I have the media clout he seems to have.

On paper AllTrials looks good but anything associated with GlaxoSmithKline should be scrutinized with a fine-toothed comb. The more I read about AllTrials and Dr Goldacre, the more convinced I am becoming that there is something afoot with the whole collaboration...then again, what do I know? I'm just one of those angry, smeary conspiracy theorists.

Angus Files

CHS I think Dr Ben is concerned ... I would be if I were a doctor with known,connections to GSK et-al...

GlaxoSmithKline faces criminal investigation from Britain’s SFO


In confirming that a criminal investigaiton was underway, the Serious Fraud Office noted that whistleblowers were “valuable sources of information” to the SFO in its cases.

The SFO shouldn't have to wait to long or look to far than the search button on the lap top...

M.M.R. R.I.P.


Hi Kim,

The americanloons.blogspot.com is an attack harassment bullying site typical of the kind of approach of one too many of Dr Ben Goldacre's BadScience Forum members and of course of Dr David Gorski and the Scienceblogs cult followers.

So we ask Dr Ben Goldacre here and now to condemn that kind of thing absolutely.

It is cyber bullying, abuse and harassment. That kind of thing is now commonly associated with suicides and self-harm in victims. And of course it causes stress and anxiety in other victims who do not self harm.

As a psychiatrist Dr Ben Goldacre is fully aware of the effects of that kind of thing, but he still runs his BadScience Forum which is a source of encouragement to the kinds of people who create sites like americanloons.blogspot.com.

There seems to be however no prospect of Dr Goldacre condemning anything.

He is currently playing Rule 25 of The Rules of Disinformation - "Vanish. If ... you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen."

Is Dr Goldacre concerned? Not if you go visit his BadScience Forum and judge from that and the other activities of his playmates on the internet.

The americanloons.blogspot.com is an interesting example because you can see that a compulsive obsessive individual has sat down and written one to two of the entries per day over the past year to bring the total up to over 1000 entries and is continuing to add to it.

Apparently according to some of the search engine ranking and tracking information the people who frequent places like Scienceblogs.com and the BadScience Forum are predominantly under 25 year old childless and male and also men aged over 50.

Go figure.

Google appears to own blogspot.com. It would be interesting to know what Google think of their facilities being used for attack harassment cyber-bullying sites.


Dear Ben Bellyacher,

Boo. Hoo.

p.s. To screw with you and your killer PR ilk, I think I'll start a movement where people pen into their HIPAA forms that their data, including adverse events claims, can be released without identifiers to specific researchers and organizations on bulk request by those individuals or organizations, starting with David Healy and Peter Gotzsche. Not you though.


Um and also, Ben, this site is not "generally used for vindictive personal attacks..." it is used to share information about autism- research, support, advocacy - which is more than I can say for any of the Scienceblogs or places like lbrb. Occasionally there may be a piece critical of those who seem to be willfully blocking progress in autism research such as Insel and it is well deserved.


I am suprised that Dr Goldacre made two comments on here.
I would love for him to respond to John Stone's questions in his follow up blog????

Can we hear from you again Dr. Goldacre -- I would love to hear you clarify for us?

I might not be in the anti vaxxer bubble -- your answers might save me. I mean I might decide your repsonse is more believable than what I witnessed with my own eyes. Maybe -- could be, you should give it a try.


Stagmom; Wow. That site seems pretty scary.
One thing; posts like that imo tend to reflect a lot worse on the poster and what they are defending than on their subject. Leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Ben Goldacre; it seems like you are being given a right to reply, (which is fair) here. Do you have any responses to the criticisms that have been raised? Where does your groups' funding come from?
What type of legislations( if any) has your group been involve with in the UK or Europe?

( By the way, you will probably find that ad hominen attacks aren't helpful. Unlike some blogs, which tend to assume a personal attack is a "scientific response", you will probably find that actual facts gets you a better hearing here.)


How many legit campaigns have been shut down by hate attacks propagated by the "PharmaSkepticI'MJustAMommyPaidTeamsBrigade?" How many kids have to wander and die while a GREAT org missed out on funding because a small group with a lot of time for pharma and "public health" and precious little empathy for actual people with autism was able to put the kibosh on a campaign that had ZERO to do with vaccination?

The fact of the matter is that the educated American parent sees clearly that our kids are sick at EVERY level - chronically sick, autism doesn't even have to enter the equation. They know our food has been morphed by "science" into obesity-fuel and that our medical systems are stacked against health from the get go.

Lie down with dogs.... (no offense to canines.)

Kim, "American Loon #370"



Ben Goldacre,
You really have your nerve mentioning 'ad hominem' attacks and "foul" behaviour/abuse when science blogs commonly feature this kind of abusive talk and encourage poll crashing and hate campaigns.

Not a Bent Goldmakre

PS to previous long comment.
I forgot to mention that Goldacre's book Bad Science appears to have been the first (or one of) to use the slimey system of citations where the citations are not indicated anywhere in the text but only at the back. This system serves to hide the fact that some key assertions have no evidential basis at all. The same invisible citation system was deployed later in Paul Offit's Autism's False Prophets book such as to hide the lack of soundness of content there as well.

Not a Bent Goldmakre

It's good to see Mr, oops, Dr, Goldacre's own chosen words displayed here because a person can never be so indicted as by his own testimony.
He is rapidly becoming a stuck record repeating the same tired tricks.

One of Goldacre's favourite themes is that proper scientific discussion avoids ad hominem attacks. And yet you can see for yourselves right here how he attacks various honourable people with no effort at providing details of the faults he finds with them. And this is another of his favourite themes, dispensing the ad homs himself.

His favourite targets include the wonderful Patrick Holford. And Gillian McKeith about whose validity of qualifications he appears to have some sort of Freudian complex. He ridicules these people as some sorts of charlatans. His Bad Hypocrisy, oops Bad Science website features a big yellow duck labelled "Nutritionist". What a pathetic level of scientific argument. Without the "quack" nutrition expertise such as that of Holford I would have been dead many times over by now.

You can also see a video online in which he ridicules "detox" as not really existing and indeed that there is no such thing as a toxin anyway. Thereby this "evidence-based" "critical thinker" waves away the whole huge science of toxicology with many thousands of papers presumably all homeopathic pseudo-water as far as Goldmaker is concerned - again he provides no scientific argument for his crazy assertions.

You can also see Goldacre's outstandingly nasty mocking derision of "scare stories" about "harmless" dental amalgam, which has horribly ruined the lives of many including myself - again he gives no scientific basis other than quoting the flawed propaganda Childrens' Amalgam Trials which have been extensively debunked and disowned even by some of their own authors. Challenged on his cherry-picking about amalgam (despite his own article condemning cherry-picking), he failed to reply but instead drivelled on about philosopy with his faithful sucker-fans.

An increasing number of people have been seeing through Goldacre's nonsense and concluding he is a Pharma Shill (as Martin Walker's book documents so well). In an attempt to defend against that he chose to rush out a book cleverly titled "Bad Pharma", and also promote this All Trials stuff. It's a great shame such energy and presentational facility are not put to a positive use promoting the truth rather than promoting nasty claptrap day after day. I don't see much of a great future ahead for him if he doesn't radically change his tune.

Angus Files

Anybody on here who is not familiar with Ben Goldacre can read for free the book by Martin Walker, Cultural Dwarfs and Junk Journalism.


The book describes Goldacre's role as part of the drug-company funded anti-nutritional medicine campaign in the UK.

Just like Deer a Merky finger in every pie downing alternative medicine...

All smoke and Mirrors Ben and we all on here know it..

M.M.R. R.I.P.

 Bob Moffitt

Ben Goldacre: "I hope, and believe, that those outside the anti-vaxxer bubble who want to move things forward will recognise these attacks for what they are."

I would agree with Mr. Goldacre .. that his target audience should be those "outside the anti-vaxxer bubble" .. because .. those inside that particular bubble (AoA) have learned the hard lesson of relying on organizations .. such as .. "Sense About Science" .. who .. according to the book "Doubt Is Their Product" by David Michaels .. are clever at confusing "sound science" with "sounds like science".

A more recent book "Science For Sale" .. outlines the tried and true method of the purposeful corruption of the scientific enterprise by "organizations and institutions" who often create only the "illusion" of science, designed to deceive .. while destroying the scientists who dare challenge the "illusions" they have so carefully crafted.

And so .. Mr Goldacre is right to "hope, and believe, that those outside the anti-vaxxer bubble who want to move things forward will recognise these attacks for what they are" .. because .. the Age of Autism community recognizes raising serious questions are not "attacks" .. they are simply part and parcel of the scientific inquiry that apparently frustrates Mr. Goldacre's desire to "move things along".


Well, Mickey did say it best in that, why should pharmaceutical companies have ANY say at all in AllTrials. Pharmaceutical companies cannot be trusted to objectively judge what information can be seen or can't. Who even allowed that possibility to be part of the discussion? They are the very entity that makes complete transparency necessary. The situation should be non-negotiable. There should be a huge boycott among people willing to participate in trials to NOT participate until complete transparency is agreed to. Trust me, clinical trial recruitment is a business unto itself and could have a good impact.

But even Mickey is still on his own journey, forever talking as if the only 2 (possibly mutually exlusive) options are pharmaceuticals, or talk therapy with only a judicious use of pharmaceuticals. Never does he acknowledge the existence of, say for instance, the role of food and environmental toxins, on a patient's medical condition, and how removing those exposures might just be the trick to a better patient response in those "hard to treat" cases and the possibility that pychiatrists, being MDs, might just be in the position to run the correct labs to uncover certain truths and then treat them medically AND non-pharmaceutically. As long as people as good as Mickey are still playing around with the black and white and forgetting about that huge grey unexplored area in the middle called the environment, patients are once again left without a voice in the whole damn discussion, relegated to stretching out on a couch for a little chat or just ignored as the money men and white coats wander around befuddled as to why these patients aren't recovering like they should be. How insolent! Mickey ought to take a virtual walk on over to Emily Deans, psychiatrist, and stretch out on her couch for a while and see what there is to learn. In the meantime, he ought to maybe send his reader Dr. James Obrien (who seems willing to tolerate pharma corruption in exchange for a new antibiotic because he is so worried about MRSA and appears to be operating under the delusion that we'll all die without pharmaceutical antibiotics-despite the damage they've caused,) some info about manuka honey and the article from here at AofA yesterday from Teresa Conrick talking about the relationship between s. aureus and pneumonia vaccines.

Kudos to childhealthsafety for bringing up the connection to GMO industry. Reading about the altrials betrayal and the nitpicking distractions ALMOST leads one astray from the core truth that this is, yet again, about HEALTH FREEDOM. I was literally sitting here thinking it's all a repeat of the GMO labeling issue. Just like we have the right to know if food is GMO, we have a right to know what is in a drug, what it does, and why, BEFORE we take it in ANY form. It is NOT negotiable. All the squabbling comes from the desire of some other entity to have control over our right to make our own decisions and the right to have those decisions be fully INFORMED - anything that gets in the way of that, you better believe its been put there on purpose, including the delays in clinical trial transparancy caused by infighting in a special interest group proporting to be all for transparancy, as if they are the only group capable of rousing the troops. And as long as they are let to be taking the lead, watch how everyone else sits back on their thumbs for a while, waiting to see how it all pans out. How many years? Who's winning from this delay?

John Stone

Dr Goldacre

I really don't think there has been much on this site which has been personally unpleasant about you - we, and I particularly, have raised concerns about the way you have conducted yourself which includes a great deal of unpleasantness unfortunately by yourself against people with who you disagree. A major instance would be your attacks against anyone who raised questions over MMR. The reality is that this is in itself was a way of skewing the evidence pushing to the margin the issue of what had happened to the children. It wasn't so much "bad science" as alleged "bad people": an interesting example would be the highly personal attacks you made on Andrew Wakefield and Arthur Krigsman last year at BMJ's evidence live conference in Oxford - a lot of it was about how, horror of horrors, Wakefield was photographed at a party with one of the Dixie Chicks.


I don't know what all those "serious scientists" made of this. The substance seems entirely personal and nothing to do with science.

Of course, we are entitled to ask questions. One of the most basic ones I posed to you was the apparently defective epidemilogy on which you based your defence of MMR. Another was your vacillating position on the allegations of your fellow journalist Brian Deer which seem to be without merit (notably demonstrated by the intervention of Dr David Lewis and the High Court findings of Judge Mitting).

Another problem was your intervention with Fiona Fox of Science Media Centre (sister organisation of Sense About Science) over an Observer report on autism incidence in Cambridgeshire schools which led to the removal of not only the article but apparently the editor of the newspaper, and which turned out after all to be completely true.

Now what you don't do here is respond to the substantive criticisms of Trudo Lemmens or say what you intend to do to retrieve the situation. The attack on David Healy is particularly deplorable.


Jenny Allan

To Ben Goldacre:- From your All Trials campaign page:-

"Nobody profits from secrecy, least of all industry. The one thing that has perpetuated the current situation is a lack of public awareness. A public campaign will push this over, and together we can make clinical trials the contribution to understanding that they should be."

I am a regular reader of AoA and do not agree "this website is generally used for vindictive personal attacks on individuals." Instead, I have found AoA to be politely informative, never resorting to the vile, often profane and vindictive rhetoric found on other so called 'science' and 'skeptic' websites. Of course, AoA articles are often controversial and critical of 'big pharma' propaganda and secrecy. In this there would seem to be common ground with your statement at the start of this comment.

I consider myself adult enough and independent enough to make up my own mind, and ask only to be properly informed about medications, including vaccines. For this reason I was very pleased to sign your AllTrials petition asking for all scientific medical trials to be registered and the results, good or bad, published.

I admit to having reservations with 'Sense about Science', but assumed this initiative was entered to in good faith on all sides. If successful this initiative is very welcome. For far too long the rich and powerful pharmaceutical industries have been able to behave in ways which are detrimental to democratic principles. (I note GSK is now being investigated in the UK for alleged fraud and bribery in China.)

If the situation is as Child Health Safety alleges, then I and the other 80,000 persons who signed your petition have been duped.


Dr Ben Goldacre replies but does not answer the main criticisms.

The absence of answers and silence is deafening. See more below.

And just look at how he replies.

There is nothing measured or professional in the tone of his response. It is identical to the forms of bullying abuse and harassment seen daily from his BadScience Forum.

So how does Dr Goldacre answer the point that the European Medicines Agency - pushed along by the political pressure created through his AllTrials Campaign - ends up with proposed laws which favour the drug industry - so perpetuating decades of the same old same old and betraying the tens of thousands who were persuaded to support the AllTrials Campaign.


How does Dr Goldacre answer the criticisms of Trudo Lemmens, associate professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy at the Faculties of Law and Medicine of the University of Toronto?


What does he say about Sense About Science being an industry founded not for profit lobby organisation?


What does he say about its links to the Living Marxism organisation and the strange associations and activities of many identified with it?


What does he say in these circumstances about his fund-raising activities for Sense About Science?


How does he answer about his being an almost complete newcomer to these issues creating the present situation and doing so by persuading many to join in the political pressure?


How does he answer instead? First response - with bullying and abuse: "this website is generally used for vindictive personal attacks on individuals".

No it is not. That is what happens on Dr Ben Goldacre's BadScience Forum and what is done by one too many of this BadScience Forum followers on the internet.

Isn't that part of what a bully does? Accuse the victims of the behaviour they are the victims of.

Attacking one of his critics Dr Healy is not an answer and convinces no one. It is irrelevant to the issues and just a side-show - typical BadScience Forum distraction tactics and not answering the criticisms of Trudo Lemmens except to agree that what is happening in the European Medicines Agency is not good likewise convinces no one.

Sun Tsu counsels to watch what people do as they reveal themselves by that and not by what they say.

And how measured and professional is this: "David Healy has made a number of entirely false accusations", "extraordinary and bizarre claims", "David Healy’s destructive comments", "an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist website", "bizarre and rather destructive personal attacks", "the anti-vaxxer bubble".

Personal attack, personal attack and personal attack - who from? From Dr Ben Goldacre.

Now here is a strange thing too - had Dr Ben Goldacre achieved in Europe what his AllTrials Campaign promises he would without doubt be praised on this website. Had what is promised by the campaign been delivered it would be welcomed wholeheartedly here.

So would he then be complaining about his success "being lauded on an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist website"?

We don't trust him. Do you?

This is what we wrote on CHS:

AllTrials "... is run for Dr Ben Goldacre by lobby front group Sense About Science. That Sense About Science are behind Dr Goldacre's campaigning is more than a little troubling.

Sense About Science were first exposed by journalist George Monbiot writing in the UK’s Guardian newspaper in 2003: Invasion of the entryists How did a cultish political network become the public face of the scientific establishment? 9 December 2003 The Guardian.

Sense About Science were also exposed by Lobby Watch as having strong links to the GMO industry, the Living Marxism group and Spiked.

Sense About Science are listed under "Contact Info" buried at the end of a very long page as the only contact point for AllTrials on the AllTrials website:

c/o Sense About Science, 14A Clerkenwell Green, London, UK, EC1R 0DP. Phone: +44 (0) 20 7490 9590 Email: [email protected] Web: Contact form

Quite why a bunch of British Marxists should also suddenly espouse capitalistic ideals of industrial and commercial science after the Berlin Wall came down following "Glasnost" and "Perestroika" in the former Sovier Union is something which defies belief. It is almost as if whatever their old job was as Cold War Warriors, there was a new job to do and they just jumped from their Marxist horses mid gallop for capitalist ones to ride off in a completely different direction.

Here are some of the entries on Lobby Watch's website under the heading "LIVING MARXISM LINKS"

Living Marxism

Sense About Science

Genetic Interest Group

Science Media Centre

Fiona Fox


Frank Furedi (Click & then see Living Marxism profile)

Ben Goldacre

For those without access there is at least an extract from my paper arguing for individual patient data sharing here:


I should add that normally, like most, I would leave the kind of ad hominem abuse that appears on this site (it really is pretty foul). But trials transparency is an extremely important issue, that we have failed on in medicine for a generation. It is important not to see it derailed, or active participants put off, as is likely with these kinds of peculiar attacks.

Mercky Business

The question perhaps is why Goldacre's is accorded any status. His actual academic and medical contributionss are insignificant and yet for the last more than a decade he has been in there broking power, and playing low politics of a particularly modern kind - virtually with his journalistic debut he made it to a journalist of the year award for an article in support of MMR, funded by manufacturers (and litigation defendants) GSK. No doubt many of the organizations who subscribed to the present initiative knew perfectly well where it was heading, but probably many didn't - not to mention the huge numbers of subscribing private individuals.

Ben Goldacre

I’m aware that this website is generally used for vindictive personal attacks on individuals, but in case anyone reading is interested in moving forward to improve standards of evidence for benefit and harm in medicine:

- David Healy has made a number of entirely false accusations about what AllTrials has done, and what those involved in it have called for.
- David Healy has failed to provide any evidence for his extraordinary and bizarre claims when asked to do so, and merely made more unfounded claims.
- AllTrials has done a fair amount to move the discussion on withheld trial information forward, from widespread denialism throughout medicine to a universal recognition that this is a problem we must fix. You can read about our work at http://www.alltrials.net/news/ and we’re always keen to hear about constructive ways to get more done.
- With the best will in the world, while we all make our own decisions about who we work with, it is ironic to find David Healy’s destructive comments being lauded on an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist website, given his long career as a paid speaker for pharma companies, for example working for Pharmacia to speak on reboxetine, one of the most egregious missing data cases around http://www.ahrp.org/COI/HealyColumbia1005/Coyne.php
- I am fully in favour of individual patient data sharing with academics, as everybody sensible already knows, and I have called for it for many years.
- This is discussed in my book Bad Pharma in 2012 (start at pp 94-98), for example.
- And in this academic paper from 2014 http://ctj.sagepub.com/content/11/1/15.long
- I’m active in challenging barriers to data sharing, and have lobbied hard for change at EMA level.

It’s very peculiar, when there are large numbers of people devoting so much effort to trying to improve things, to find these bizarre and rather destructive personal attacks being taken up with such gusto.

I hope, and believe, that those outside the anti-vaxxer bubble who want to move things forward will recognise these attacks for what they are.



"Goldacre drums up great publish support ....."


"Goldacre drums up great public support ...."


Let's put this in simpler terms.

What is the problem?

Major players in the drug industry like GlaxoSmithKline have been publishing only trial data from the one trial which purports to show a drug is safe and effective and keeps the other nine hidden which show a drug is neither safe nor effective.

Dr Ben Goldacre out of nowhere suddenly pops up calling for drug test data from all drug trials to be published. He sets up the AllTrials Campaign.

This is after many others for decades have been trying to get all drug trials registered and all drug trial data published for scrutiny by independent scientists.

Goldacre drums up great publish support with nearly 500 organisations signing up to the AllTrials Campaign and nearly 80,000 individuals so far.

But behind the scenes it is all being run by industry founded lobby group Sense About Science which is registered as a British not-for-profit.

Goldacre even raises £40,000 for Sense About Science by persuading others to contribute to a fund.

But the reality is it was predictable that once the political pressure for change was brought to bear, the drug industry would get everything on its own terms.

Goldacre looks very much like a Trojan Horse and others were predicting this would be the outcome.

So we are left with Goldacre campaigning to achieve exactly the opposite of what he was telling everyone else this was all about.

The only prospect for redemption if is the new proposed regime is overturned to ensure what is needed is put in place.

And the big question is: why did Goldacre suddenly pop up out of nowhere to found the AllTrials Campaign? What was really behind it all?

These are fair questions bearing in mind the importance of this, how long these problems have existed, the fact Goldacre is involved with only months in comparison, that others have tried to effect change for decades and Goldacre's use of his BadScience Forum to engage the involvement of others who bully, harass and abuse critics of the drug industry and others on the internet.

In short, should Goldacre be trusted? In our view clearly not. Others may disagree but make up your own mind.

Angus Files

the lunatics in charge of the asylum for sure..just shows the contempt and arrogance that he has for our side thinking he could pull it off un -noticed...

what a....(fill the dots your selves)


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