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74 Call for an international platform of collaborative websites to fight ‘the harms of too much medicine’
  1. Jean Doubovetzky
  1. Cancer Rose, Jouy aux Arches, France. Laboratori Albigés de pensada laterala, Albi, France


The internet could be a good way to disseminate useful information

We all know and use the internet to get or share useful information. I have also tried my best, and I set up a blog:

Dr Knock is a theater character who once said : ‘Every healthy person is a sick one who just doesnt realize it.’The aim of ‘Anti-Dr Knock’ is to inform about medicine in the sole interest of patients:

  • Fight against irrationality, received ideas, over-medicalization.

  • Be wary of the influences of pharmaceutical laboratories and lobbies of all kinds; reject any conflicts of interest.

  • Take an interest in society, history, psychology, scientific methods and even literature, so that they can enlighten us on medicine.

  • And keep a human eye on human suffering.

Hard work

During the last three months, I published more than 40 articles, all being referenced and peer reviewed. This is quite a lot of work.

Articles share a relatively consistent format: title, heading, 400 to 1200 words including intertitles, one or two illustrations, references, links and declaration of non-conflict of interest.

Needless to say that a very central idea is to fight ‘the harms of too much medicine’.

Main references come from Prescrire, UpToDate, the BMJ, the USPSTF, the French HAS,, NICE, the Cochrane collaboration...

Any individual efforts are doomed to fail

However, there are thousands of websites adressing health issues. In France, the more popular of them do not appear to be interested in ‘winding back the harms of too much medicine’ or being really evidence-based. And discordant voices are hardly heard.

Many publications and a constant flow of new texts are required to become widely referenced in search engines, and truly popular. And of course, a daily activity on social media.

This means time, people and money. None of us, nor our respective organizations, can accomplish this. But together ?

We should set up an international cooperation

I am sure that you all know Wikipedia. Of course, this encyclopedia has several limitations. However, it was developed through an interesting international collaboration. There are numerous articles in various langages, based on the same frame. These may be exact translations, or adaptations to consider national or regional differences. We can create something similar, devoted to providing health information for everyone (including health professionals).

There are many things to invent or re-use. How should the group welcome new national (regional or local) members? Should we have formal procedures? Which differences may be acceptable (or not)? Do we need a formal international association? Should we try to get grants? Which would be acceptable or not? Which name should we choose? etc.

My purpose is not to propose any ‘ready to use’ organization, but to encourage genuine collaborative, open-minded work that will result in a multi-language international site thant can have a real impact on people’s minds all over the world.

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