Dodgy, devious and duped?
Writing a light-hearted article for a Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, two researchers created a spoof company called HARLOT plc to provide a series of services for trial sponsors. For example:
‘We can guarantee positive results for the manufacturers of dodgy drugs and devices who are seeking to increase their market shares, for health professional guilds who want to increase the demand for their unnecessary diagnostic and therapeutic services, and for local and national health departments who are seeking to implement irrational and self serving health policies . . . for dodgy “me too” drugs [our E-Zee-Me-Too Protocol team] can guarantee you a positive trial.’
To their astonishment, the authors received some apparently serious inquiries about the amazing HARLOT plc portfolio.
Sackett DL, Oxman AD. HARLOT plc: an amalgamation of the world’s two oldest professions. BMJ 2003;327:1442-5.
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