Thursday, June 02, 2016

#Wikidata - Should it include #medicines

A Dutch article indicates that only 12% of the 2500 most prescribed medicines deserve the label "proven effective". It cites the British Medical Journal; the findings are in the Clinical Evidence Handbook.  The article describes a practice where pharmaceutical companies churn out "papers" that are to prove efficacy; papers published by what are effectively marketing companies.

At Wikidata a bot is registering chemicals that are registered as being recognised as a medicine. Arguably, when only 12% is effective it is better not to register such notions. It is potentially harmful. It also suggests that medicines mentioned in Wikipedia need to be checked against the Clinical Evidence Handbook.

In the article it is mentioned that it is a common practice for "scientists" to lend their names to such publications. It contaminates everything such "academics" stand for and it deserves a mention in both Wikipedia and Wikidata.

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