Drugs are tested by the people who manufacture them, in poorly designed trials, on unrepresentative small numbers of patients, and analysed in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments and that, unsurprisingly, favour the manufacturer. Among the many trials that are being continuously conducted comparing, for example, a drug against a placebo, only the one with a neat, positive result, is published in an academic journal. The other trials, probably tested on many more patients, may show the drug to be no better than a dummy sugar pill, but these are not published because the companies are perfectly entitled to hide them, so there is no way a doctor may have an idea they existed.
Nobody breaks any law in doing this and the drug may still make its way on the market. These problems do not go through public inspection because they're too complex to explain in a few words. Politicians, the people we trust to fix these problems, have failed us. If the trials with negative results are withdrawn, then we simply cannot know the true effects of the treatments we use. Forget about vitally important side-effects. Evidence in medicine is not an abstract academic preoccupation. When we make the wrong decisions we cause unnecessary pain and suffering, and death, on people just like us.
ANSWER QUESTIONS 1-3 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
1. Do doctors always find all the information they need about drugs? Explain.
2. Why can drug manufacturers hide information about failed tests?
3. Why are negative results in drug trials important?
ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRECISE WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT, OR USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
4. All trials are published in academic journals.
5. Complete trial data of drugs may save lives.
USE OF ENGLISH
6. FIND IN THE TEXT ONE SYNONYM FOR “sugar pill”.
7. WHICH WORD DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME MEANING?
- “break / smash / crack / mend”.
8. FIND IN THE TEXT THE WORD WHICH HAS THE FOLLOWING DEFINITION:
“cause or allow something to pass down the throat.”
9. FILL IN THE GAP WITH THE CORRECT PREPOSITION:(for/about/without/inside)
- Pharmaceutical companies mislead doctors______ drugs.
10. TURN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE INTO REPORTED SPEECH:
The patient said: “Doctor, do these pills have any side-effects?”
11. JOIN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES USING AN APPROPRIATE LINKER (DO NOT USE AND, BUT OR BECAUSE). MAKE CHANGES IF NECESSARY:
The wrong drug can kill a patient. Pharmaceutical companies have little responsibility.
12. GIVE A QUESTION FOR THE UNDERLINED WORDS:
I go to the doctor’s more than twice a month.
13 USE THE NEXT WORDS TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL SENTENCE. USE ALL AND ONLY THE WORDS WITHOUT CHANGING THEIR FORM.
an -may -be -airy -as -drugs -given -anaesthetic-vapour
14. WRITE A COMPOSITION OF APPROXIMATELY 120 WORDS ABOUT THE TOPIC PROPOSED. YOU MUST FOCUS STRICTLY O N IT:
Would you like to become a doctor? Why?