The BMJ Today: The FDA, drug addicts, and standing with junior doctors

fda_approved• The FDA’s new clothes
Two new research papers (here and here) and a linked editorial take a detailed look at the FDA’s regulatory process. They present concerns that the FDA has prioritised expedited approvals at the expense of adequately assessing whether new drugs are more effective than existing products or whether they are safe. The editorial calls for a new way of doing things: “The United States and other countries need an alternative paradigm—one in which research focuses on better medicines for patients rather than for profits, where clinical trials with low risk of bias look for real benefits and faithfully reports harms.”

whatyourpatientisthinking• If you only have a few minutes with a drug addict
The latest article in the “What Your Patient Is Thinking” series is now online. S D Williams is currently completing a recovery programme at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. He shares his personal experience of opiate addiction, describing his encounters with doctors and the care that made a difference.


medical_student• #imajuniordoctor: Junior doctors respond to the new junior doctor contract on social media

Response to the government’s plans to impose a new junior contract continues. There are concerns that the new contract will increase workload and reduce pay, which in turn will lower morale and compromise patient safety. Junior doctors have taken to social media to voice their opinion on the planned imposition, as Sarah Foster describes in her blog.

• Margaret McCartney: Stand with junior doctors
GP columnist Margaret McCartney adds her voice of support to junior doctors, warning that the effects will be felt across the NHS and urging consultants and GPs to stand together:

“We need patients and professionals to be on the same side for an evidence based revolution, or it’s NHS bust. For all these reasons, all senior NHS doctors should stand up for, and together with, their juniors.”

Navjoyt Ladher is a clinical editor, The BMJ.