The BMJ Today: Politics and health, patients and professionals, and stalled drug trials

Here’s your Tuesday roundup:

Politics and health
NHS signage• In an analysis article, David Hunter argues that, rather than exclude politics from health, we must embrace it if we are to improve our complex health systems.

Political science can, he urges, provide the insights needed to improve policy. “It has the potential to be of immense practical value in generating solutions to complex problems that have so far largely defeated policy makers and practitioners,” he says.

Patients and professionals
Margaret McCartney says we need to overhaul the relationship between patients and health professionals.

“We need a revolution where patients truly come first, not politicians, because if professionals and patients are not on the same side we are sunk,” she says.

research_keyReports of stalled drug trials
Amanda Hakala and colleagues have looked at the proportion of trials for unsuccessfully licensed drugs that are not published. They find that much of the information collected in unsuccessful drug trials is inaccessible to the broader research and practice communities.

Hip replacement revision rates
Hip_ProsthesisNgianga-Bakwin Kandala and colleagues have compared 10 year revision rates for primary total hip replacement to inform the setting of a new benchmark rate.

They find that 10 year revision rate estimates were all less than 5%, and in some instances considerably less. “The results suggest that the current revision rate benchmark should be at least halved from 10% to less than 5% at 10 years,” they say. “This has implications for benchmarks internationally.”

Tom Moberly is the editor of BMJ Careers.