Historical Archive


Sir Chalmers – author of the book "How to know if a cure works" – and prof. Garattini addressed some aspects inherent to the problems arising from the relationship between the use and prescription of drugs and their effective efficacy in patient care. 
On Sunday 20 January, in the splendid hall of the Auditorium in Rome, two great personalities of today's medicine met the public proposing a "shared lecture" with an evocative and ambitious title: "The future of medicine". Sir Iain Chalmers and Silvio Garattini worked together for several weeks to build a "shared conference": a sequence of alternating slides in Italian and English gave full visibility to the unfolding of two parallel paths towards better clinical research aimed at better healthcare. The conference, conducted by Gianna Milano, journalist of the weekly Panorama, was part of the rich program that once again characterized the Science Festival this year.

The introduction of new therapies is almost inevitably accompanied by uncertainty regarding their adverse effects but also, and often above all, their efficacy.

Medicines are not always the only valid response to the patient's needs. In particular, Chalmers, taking the problem of knee osteoarthritis as an example, highlighted how people suffering from this pathology would like to be better informed about the effectiveness of physiotherapy and, in the most serious cases, about the results of prosthetic surgery. On the contrary, the studies that are usually carried out mainly concern the efficacy of the drugs, despite the fact that the differences between the various products are essentially nil.
In other words, Chalmers highlighted the existence of a gap between the expectations of patients - who are really interested in solving their problems even by facing long periods of physiotherapy and/or surgery - and the clinical trial results, which mainly aim to impose new drugs on the market that are in reality similar to existing ones. "The research agenda and the agenda of citizens – healthy and sick – must be shared," explained the director of the James Lind Initiative, an Oxford-based institution that promotes different, more and more qualified patient involvement in clinical trials. "We need to improve communication and strengthen trust: we can only succeed if those who are ill are able to help their doctor critically evaluate the different options that arise when choosing between different treatments".

The Scientific Thought Publisher – erica sorelli and carlo fudei

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco