Re-Check se réjouit de contribuer à l’édition 2018 de la Conférence sur la prévention du surdiagnostic, qui se tient jusqu’au 22 août à Copenhague (#PODC2018) par le biais d’un poster avec discussion (#PODC2018Poster11) sur le mappage de la gestion fantôme dans la recherche médicale et la santé publique (Mapping Ghost Management in Medical Research and Public Health) Nous avons testé dans le cadre de trois études de cas – dépistage du cancer du sein par mammographie, vaccins anti-HPV et contraceptifs oraux – une hypothèse puissante présentée par le Prof. Marc-André Gagnon à PODC2017. Pour en savoir plus, retrouvez-nous mardi 21 et mercredi 22 août dès 8 heures à la Preventing Overdiagnosing Conference à Copenhague pour une discussion où nous parlerons science, conflits d’intérêts, lobbying, ghost management et marketing. Il y aura du café, des viennoiseries danoises et du chocolat suisse!
Mapping Ghost Management in Medical Research and Public Health
By Catherine Riva, Serena Tinari, Re-Check
Category: Other – Developing tools to investigate and identify the stakes that may lead to overdiagnosis and too much medicine
Objectives: At the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference 2017, Marc-André Gagnon (Carlton University, Ottawa) built on the concept of ghost management in science (Sergio Sismondo) to develop a reflection on corporate capture and institutional corruption in the biopharmaceutical sector. He postulates that because of the current business model, the activity of pharmaceutical firms is more oriented towards producing influence on medical knowledge and social determinants of value, than towards producing innovative treatments. We wanted to verify the validity of this hypothesis by mapping the strategies and issues highlighted in three long-form Re-Check investigations on 3rd and 4th generation oral contraceptives, systematic breast cancer screening and HPV vaccines.
Method: Search for documents as well as for scientific and mainstream publications, FoIA requests, journalistic investigative methods, Re-Check evaluation grids and mapping tools.
Results: The mapping of our investigations confirms the hypothesis put forward by Gagnon. Our maps show ghost management at work in the case of these three health measures targeting healthy girls and women. Ghost management is practiced by the pharmaceutical industry, but also by other players in the health system (health authorities, regulatory authorities, research centers, NGOs) as soon as the stakes reach a critical size. Our maps illustrate how this “new model of science (…) drawing its authority from traditional academic science” (Sismondo) is an effective strategy for capturing the different levels identified by Gagnon: science, regulation, market, health professions, media, technology and civil society.
Conclusions: Re-Check mapping highlighting ghost management currently at work in medical research and public health confirms Gagnon’s hypothesis (Sismondo’s concept). Such methods deserve to be developed, enriched, validated and applied by academic research. They should also become part of an evaluation grid used by journalists investigating pharmaceutical companies and health system’s players: organizations devoted “to influence ideas and social structures in a way that maximizes commercial value” (Gagnon) and strengthens their position. The more investigations and academic research document the phenomenon, the better it may enable to develop solutions and transform institutional structures and medical practices to stem this endemic corruption.