Pharmaville – the latest fad in on-line gaming

In Ray’s latest column in the British Medical Journal, we learn about Pharmaville, an idea for a new web-based social networking game, where players develop and sell medicines to make life perfect, where dubstep plays in the strip clubs, and where those found guilty of misleading the public face the possibilty of mild professional censure. You can read the BMJ column here

We need to be wary about new disease definitions – BMJ editor

The editor of the British Medical Journal, Dr Fiona Godlee warns of the need to be wary of new definitions of disease, and calls on doctors to make their patients more aware of debates around where we draw the line between health and illness.

Dr Godlee’s editorial  ‘Who should define disease?‘ is well worth a read [ReferenceBMJ 2011; 342:d2974]

And you can see here the fantasic BMJ cover May 14 2011 which is based on Ray’s latest BMJ article, detailed below

A new way to decide who’s healthy and who’s sick

In Ray’s latest article in the British Medical Journal, he exposes how many of the panels which draw the line between health and sickness comprise experts with financial ties to drug companies.

The article contains explosive comments from the psychiatrist who chaired the taskforce which wrote the DSM IV – the globally influential psychiatrists’ manual of diseases – and it explores ways in which fresh new independent panels might be put together.

An interview with Ray about the BMJ feature can be seen here at The Conversation, discussing how doctors with financial ties to drug companies, may have – in their enthusiasm to treat us – classified far too many healthy people as being sick.

And Ray’s short ABC Health Report presentation on the topic can be heard here

Feeling lazy? Take the test

Do you ever feel lazy? You may have Motivational Deficiency Disorder, the condition uncovered five years ago today. One in five people suffer from this disorder and many don’t know they have it. This scientifically validated new test (p^0.3) will only take 30 seconds: it could save your life.*

Take the test

1. Have you ever felt lazy or apathetic? Yes/No

2. Do you have a family history of laziness? Yes/No

3. Do you ever feel tired on a Monday morning? Yes/No

4. Have you ever considered hiring someone to clean the gutters? Yes/No

5. Are you breathing? Yes/No

If you answered yes to just one question – you should see your doctor today!
You can also view a short video here

*Argos L, Henry D, Cassels A, et. al., Journal of Motivational Medicine, 2011 April 1;4:78-92

Over-diagnosis harming millions

In Ray’s latest column for the British Medical Journal he discusses a fantastic new book called ‘Overdiagnosed: making people sick in the pursuit of health’ written by three Ivy League doctors from the United States

The book paints a frightening picture of a medical system that labels millions of people with conditions that will never cause them any harm, exposing them to the danger of the side efffects and costs of unwanted treatments

To read the BMJ column, click here




Global Praise for “Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals”

A selection a reviews and recommendations from around the world about Ray’s latest book…

“a meticulous exposé”        Literary Review of Canada

“essential reading for husbands”    The Spectator

“very readable”     Medical Journal of Australia

“valuable muckraking”     Psychiatric Times, USA

“a clarion call that should be heard by men and women alike” Winnipeg Free Press

“A must read”     Dr Lori Brotto, UBC Canada

“I highly recommend it”   Gorgi Coghlan, Channel 10, The Circle, Australia

“A brilliant dissection of the tragedy of greed preying on fear”

Dr Iona Heath, Royal College of General Practitioners, Britain

“One of the most useful books to come along in a long time”

Cynthia A. Pearson, National Women’s Health Network, USA

Review extracts

“…essential reading for husbands and recommended reading for general practitioners, psychiatrists and psychologists…”.

“with its insightful discussion of bedroom intimacy and the impact of ageing on sexual function of both men and women, especially the latter, it will almost certainly become a discussion text for many book clubs across the Western world.”

John Graham, The Spectator, Australia

“…a breakthrough in investigative journalism: a decidedly progressive argument against the hegemony of modern medicine and the way it intentionally deprives patients of a holistic approach to health and happiness.”

Quill and Quire

“Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals is a rarity—a book that lives up to its own hype. It is a thorough and meticulous exposé that does a remarkably good job of bringing skepticism without cynicism, informa­tion without sensationalism to an issue that is being confronted by an increasing number of average people.

“… an eye-opening, carefully written and fair book that directly confronts a single dramatic example of what many consider to be an exploding problem: the medicalization of everyday life.”

Wendy McElroy, Literary Review of Canada

Buy your copy here

Ray Moynihan becomes BMJ columnist…

In 2011 Ray will start a new regular column at the BMJ – the British Medical Journal – he will be a regular contributor to his local newspaper in Byron Bay Australia, The Echo, and will continue as an Australian correspondent to Radio New Zealand’s NinetoNoon program, along with other projects, writing commissions, speaking engagements and lots of dancing.

Drug giant’s legal action against Australian government advisers described as “intimidation”

The drug company AstraZeneca has launched legal action against an influential committee of independent advisers to the Australian government.

Documents lodged with a federal court show that the company has begun proceedings against 17 members of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and the federal health minister.

Neither AstraZeneca nor the government will comment on the nature of the case against the powerful committee, which makes recommendations on which drugs attract subsidies—and the conditions attached to those subsidies—in Australia’s $8 billion publicly funded scheme.

However, court documents reveal that the case …..

The full text of Ray’s latest story is available here in the British Medical Journal