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British Science Needs Integrity Overhaul

British Science Needs Integrity Overhaul.

Because of the widespread dissatisfaction by hundreds of thousands of UK citizens left suffering with symptoms of hypothyroidism by the UK endocrinology establishment, TPA has sent a link to this article to the Presidents of the Royal College of Physicians, the British Thyroid Association and to Professor Tony Weetman (senior academic in thyroid disease) asking for their comments stating whether they agree with the sentiment of this paper and if so, what will be done to rectify the situation and, in short, asking them to provide evidence that the UK endocrinology establishment is indeed properly focussed on the diagnosis and treatment of symptoms of hypothyroidism (not just primary hypothyroidism), as we have a right to expect from an honoured profession.

TPA also sent all three the following information to back up the above document:

British scientists are fundamentally failing to deal with research misconduct, which is widespread in the country, leading experts have warned…..“There is a recognition that we have a problem,” said Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Coinciding with the meeting, a BMJ survey of 2,782 doctors and medical academics showed that 13% claimed to have first hand knowledge of “inappropriately adjusting, excluding, altering or fabricating data”…”…Research-integrity issues in the United Kingdom have long been fretted over. Last year the House of Commons science and technology select committee said that they found “the general oversight of research integrity in the UK to be unsatisfactory”. Similar concerns have been raised by others, going back more than a decade.

To date (12 May 2016) I have received no comments from the President of the BTA or from Professor Anthony Weetman, but on the 8 January, a member of the RCP Enquiry Team sent me the following:

From: [email protected]
Sent: 08 January 2016 17:30
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]
Subject: #LIM056237 – Sheila Turner: Reliability of UK Endocrinology

“Dear Sheila Turner,

Thank you for your enquiry. I have copied in our external affairs team who will know if the RCP has produced an official response to the Nature article:

Organisations such as the RCP who produce guidance rely on the quality of primary published research on which to base recommendations. The article raises concerns about misconduct not in the organisations who review the evidence, but in the ‘research institutions or universities’ that produce the primary medical research.

If you are aware of specific research misconduct in the organisations whose references form the basis for the latest hypothyroid guidance, please bring this to the attention of the British Thyroid Association (BTA)

I am not sure which body you are referring to as ‘the UK endocrinology establishment’. The latest guidance on the treatment of hypothyroidism has been endorsed by the Association of Clinical Biochemistry, (ACB), British Thyroid Foundation, (BTF), Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Society for Endocrinology (SFE).

The guidance states that ‘A proportion of patients on L-T4 therapy have persistent symptoms despite normal serum TSH levels. Such symptoms should be acknowledged and alternative aetiologies sought’.

Kind regards,
Karen Reid

RCP Enquiries
Library, Archive and Museum Services”

TPA responded to her 10th January 2016:

Dear Karen,

British Medical Science Needs Integrity Overhaul (Nature)Context: RCP Guidance on Hypothyroidism

Thank you for your reply. As I described to you, the most respected science journal (Nature) has recorded concerns that British medical science is unreliable.That concern is against the background of this charity’s concern that the RCP’s guidance on Hypothyroidism lacks scientific rigour.

You state that the RCP relies on published science and that is exactly the point.

If the validity of such science is questioned on the highest scientific authority, a responsible approach requires that the RCP should examine the quality of the data on which it relies in making pronouncements on medical matters, especially on a medical matter (hypothyroidism symptoms) found wanting by consumers.

However, at least in respect of the RCPs policy statement on the diagnosis and management of Primary Hypothyroidism, we note that your reply implies that the RCP sees no need to assure the quality of the data on which it has been relying to produce such guidance.

I wanted to give you the opportunity to reconsider your statement on this matter which, as it stands, our members will find disappointing and it will not add to the stature of the RCP as seen from the perspective of members, who have been failed by the RCPs policy statement.

Yours sincerely
Sheila Turner

No further correspondence has yet been received (12 May 2016) and neither the President of the British Thyroid Association nor Professor Anthony Weetman had the courtesy to even acknowledged receipt of this question.


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Previous comments

Stinks of corruption if data has been fabricated can you imagine the law suits ! I have under active thyroid since being six months old I remember when they changed the medication and my life just went down hill I was about 8 or 9 was kept in hospital for the transition period I remember after that always tired and I always hurt all over of course they said I was imagining it my concentration was not good therefore I fell behind at school then my outcome was not good I’m not thick or stupid not even slow but just could not concentrate and was persistently tired and falling asleep in class I think my medication was altered yet again making things worse ! Nobody understands what it’s like to have this condition you are mostly labelled lazy uncooperative especially when your working its a cruel affliction that doctors don’t even fully understand its a case of this is the only medication we have so go away shut up and stop bothering me about it all your symptoms are all in your mind : here have some antidepressants : that’s our lives the thyroid victims that nobody gives a toss about and I hope that one day if there is any truth behind with holding data and evidence back regarding more effective medication I would like too see them prosecuted to the highest level they are supposed to have taken a Hippocratic oath OR IS IT ALL ABOUT PROFITEERING probably is

Jacqueline Hyland,