Template talk:Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in the United Kingdom

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Books/media section[edit]

I'd like to start a books or media section, listing material of relevance to the industry, and perhaps also start a people section, listing key individuals and critics. Rangoon reverted my edit that added a book here (Ben Goldacre's Bad Pharma, 2012). He said on another page that he felt the book was too narrow, but it does deal substantially with the pharmaceutical industry in the UK, discusses the key controversies, describes the roles of some of the key individuals, and offers UK-based solutions to some of the problems, so I would like to restore it. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:33, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Oppose inclusion of the Goldacre book, which is about the industry worldwide. I have read a number of reviews and synopses of the book and none mentioned the UK at all.
What other links are you proposing to add in a books/media section or a people section? I am generally against the latter since hundreds of thousands of people work in this industry. There is no way that "critics", by which I guess you would include someone like Goldacre, are more relevant and noteworthy than people such as the founders of the most prominent UK based companies, various leaders of them, heads of regulatory bodies, and hundreds of notable scientists who played key roles in drug discovery in the UK. It is for me too open ended. Rangoon11 (talk) 20:53, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Rangoon, the reviews you're reading are all or mostly in the British media; there would be no need for them to point out that a lot of it is about the UK. It's a book by a British doctor, published in Britain, that discusses the activities of British pharmaceutical companies or others that have significant interests in the UK. As I said when we discussed this elsewhere, a great deal of it is about the UK, which is why the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry responded with a press release, and why its chief executive, Stephen Whitehead, discussed the book with Goldacre on the Today programme. Goldacre writes that "this world" (the people and issues he has written about) "penetrates British academia and medicine to its absolute core."
As for which other books to include, I haven't looked around yet. I'm first of all arguing for the inclusion of this one.
May I suggest you read the book yourself? I think it would then become clear why it's appropriate to add it here, in the interests of NPOV. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:04, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Since we already have an "Other" section in the template and you are specifically proposing a whole new section then it would be useful to know what else you would intend to go in it. We would not create a new section for just one link when we already have an "Other" section.
Regarding the Goldacre book's inclusion in this template, the issue for me is whether it is specifically or largely about the UK. So far as I am aware it is not and you have not provided any evidence as yet to the contrary. Yes the book no doubt mentions the UK, but it is not about the UK.
If a book about the UK is reviewed in the UK then the review will in my experience still mention what the book is about i.e. the UK. I have read both reviews and synopses of this book and none have specifically mentioned the UK.
I have read the ABPI press release (which is here [1])and it does not refer to claims made in the book about the UK specifically.
Does the UK feature in the Contents of the book? How many chapters in the book are the UK? How many other countries are referred to, and at what length, and would you propose adding this book to the template for every country thereby mentioned? Rangoon11 (talk) 22:24, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
There are already books in the Other section, so I would move those down. The problem with you continuing to say that it's not significantly about the UK is that you haven't read it. I don't think it's reasonable to ask me to pull out all the British material for you. Would you please read it? Then if you still believe that it doesn't significantly refer to the UK pharmaceutical industry, we can remove it and/or invite fresh eyes. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:13, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Despite having no particular interest in the book I have already read a few reviews and synopses purely as a result of our discussion on it.
You think it unreasonable for me to ask you a few pretty simple questions, but then expect me to read the whole book?! I don't even have a copy, do you expect me to buy one? If I had one then I would have a quick look at the contents and index and a flick through to see how much the UK is referred to. You seem to have a copy to hand and also to have read the book so it should take you rather less time to answer my questions than it did for me to read the reviews and synopses.
I have no axe to grind here either way, I am trying to be as open minded as possible but I can't support inclusion unless the book is wholly or largely about the UK. Rangoon11 (talk) 23:29, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
A great deal of it is about the UK, and virtually all the proposals are UK-based. I can't give you chapter and verse, because there is so much of it. The book is written by a British doctor, published in Britain by a British publisher, it talks about drug trials in Britain, about British drug companies (particularly GlaxoSmithKline), British doctors, British academics, the royal colleges, NICE, the NHS, the MHRA, British prescribing patterns.
It isn't reasonable to object on the basis that the book is not exclusively about the UK, so I'm going to go ahead and make the edit. I do think you should read it if you're editing in this area and commenting on the book. I think you'd find it very interesting. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:18, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've added the books/journals section. There are several links on the page that aren't about exclusively British organizations, e.g. European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, European Pharmacopoeia, List of pharmaceutical companies, and several others. So I don't see that a book would have to be exclusively about the UK. That a significant amount of the book is about the UK is surely enough. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:28, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

It's telling that you wont answer my straightforward questions. Does the UK feature in the Contents of the book? How many chapters in the book are about the UK? How many other countries are referred to, and at what length, and would you propose adding this book to the template for every country thereby mentioned? To do date you have provided zero evidence that a "significant amount" of the book is about the UK.
It is deeply disappointing and concerning to see an Admin show complete contempt for an open talk page discussion and try to impose a change through edit warring.
I am now left regretting having actually created this template, I certainly did not do so in order for it to be used to promote a book. Rangoon11 (talk) 18:31, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what "Does the UK feature in the Contents of the book?" means. I don't know which other countries are referred to (America obviously, and Roche is mentioned a few times). It would be too much to summarize. Can you not get hold of a copy and quickly look through it? SlimVirgin (talk)
"Does the UK feature in the Contents of the book?" is pretty clear - is the UK specifically mentioned in the contents section of the book? I'm confused now, because you have been stating categorically that a great deal of the book is about the UK, but your above post rather suggests that you haven't actually read it. Rangoon11 (talk) 19:27, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

RfC: Should this template include a link to the book, Bad Pharma?[edit]

The RfC has been open for 30 days. I hope no one will mind that I close it, as the results are clear enough. Four people responded. Three supported inclusion of the book Bad Pharma (JonRichfield, Dentalplanlisa and myself), and one opposed (Rangoon11). I'm therefore going to reinstate the edit of 24 October. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:54, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I created a books/journals section for this template (diff), and included in the section a link to our article on Dr. Ben Goldacre's Bad Pharma (2012), which deals significantly with the pharmaceutical industry in the UK, as well as elsewhere. Rangoon11 is reverting this, arguing that the book is not exclusively about the UK. Should a link to our article on the book be included in this template? SlimVirgin (talk) 19:01, 24 October 2012 (UTC)


Shortened the above (diff) to take account of Rangoon's objection below. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:36, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
The above is a completely non-neutral RfC request. Per the RfC page the text is supposed to be "a brief, neutral statement of the issue in the talk page section, immediately below the RfC template" (Wikipedia:Requests for comment) The above is patently not that.
I have stated that the book should be included only if it wholly or largely relates to the UK. I have said that I am happy for it to be included if it satifies this requirement, but no evidence has been provided which establishes this. I have read a number of reviews and synopses of this book, not one of which referred to the UK.
The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and European Pharmacopoeia are core elements of the UK industry, unlike this book. The precedent which would be established by adding this book is that any work which even partially addresses a topic should be included in a template on the said topic. That cannot be right.Rangoon11 (talk) 19:08, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Responses[edit]

(no threaded replies here, please)

  • Support inclusion. The book is critical of the pharmaceutical industry, and a significant amount of it focuses on the pharmaceutical industry in the UK. It is written by a British doctor, published in Britain by a British publisher, discusses drug trials in Britain, British drug companies (particularly GlaxoSmithKline), the relationship between drug companies and British doctors and academics, British law about prescribed drugs, the British royal colleges, NICE, the NHS, the MHRA, and British prescribing patterns. It also offers, in the final chapter, some British-based solutions to some of the problems.

    The British industry's trade association, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, issued a press release in response to the book (here), and Stephen Whitehead, its chief executive, debated the issues with Goldacre on BBC Radio Four's Today programme (here). On 23 October an MP raised the issue of missing data from clinical trials (one of the key issues in the book), and the minister in his reply referred to Ben Goldacre (video). This is very definitely a book that is in part about, and is clearly of relevance to, the pharmaceutical industry in the UK.

    In addition, the template includes many links that are not exclusively about the UK, e.g. European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, European Pharmacopoeia, List of pharmaceutical companies. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:04, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

  • I had already read most of those reviews, none support the stance that the book is largely or wholly about the UK, in fact they suggest the opposite - that it is about the industry worldwide. Rangoon11 (talk) 22:59, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
  • New links are interesting - I can't access the Times ones properly though because of their paywall - but don't support the claim that the book is largely about the UK. The BMJ link doesn't even address the book, but refers to the article which he wrote in the Times.Rangoon11 (talk) 01:17, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion. The book isn't entirely about the British pharma industry but it's heavily weighted in that direction. Dental plan / lisa needs braces! 15:45, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Any evidence for that?Rangoon11 (talk) 15:59, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
I have read it. Have you read it? Dental plan / lisa needs braces! 13:09, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
That was quick work, in which case please can you answer the questions I listed above (Does the UK feature in the Contents of the book? How many chapters in the book are about the UK? How many other countries are referred to, and at what length, and would you propose adding this book to the template for every country thereby mentioned?)Rangoon11 (talk) 13:30, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion. Objections to inclusion make no sense as stated and I cannot deal with unstated arguments. (And BTW, I am not British and have no connection with pharma, British or otherwise). Referring to literature in a country-related topic does not logically demand that the text or its reviews be specifically and specially about that country, and I cannot imagine why they should. All that is necessary is that the material should be directly relevant, reasonably supported, and its content should not specifically exclude the country in question. Just because the book mentions say, India, Russia and the US doesn't mean that the reader in UK contexts would not benefit from reference to it, either in whole or in part. The value of the book is in its relevant content, it is not primarily concerned with what is not relevant. It is in fact possible to justify inclusion of two or more books, each of which does not justify its inclusion in isolation, but which combines with others to deliver valuable information. That does not apply in this case, but it makes nonsense of the claim that the book must be purely, sufficiently, and simplistically devoted to the topic in question. To criticise its inclusion, the objectors must demonstrate that its content conveys insufficient material on topic, not that reviews and blurbs don't promise anything. It is not like proving that the content is nonsensical or inaccurate. If the book is about world pharma, then it is about UK pharma, and might well be sufficiently about UK pharma to justify inclusion; it need not be cited if the author doesn't feel like it, but to demand its exclusion because a critic doesn't like it, the critic needs a positive reason for exclusion, not a failure to note the reason for inclusion. JonRichfield (talk) 05:28, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
So, if there was a Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in the.... template for every country, then you would support this book being included in the template for every country that is referred to in the book? Rangoon11 (talk) 17:47, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Of course; wherever it proved of value to the users of the template. And not where it did not. What would you do? You aren't serious are you? Why does one include anything anywhere? Suppose OTOH that for each individual country there were an individually matching book, what would you do then? Seems a pretty close analogy to me, either for relevance or convenience. JonRichfield (talk) 19:23, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
"of value to the users of the template" is completely subjective and essentially meaningless. This template is specifically about the Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in a specific country. If wholly internation and generic links are added then it becomes meaningless.
If a book were specifically about the UK then that would be an entirely different matter, I fail to see your logic.Rangoon11 (talk) 19:41, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Bad luck you are having. If you think that the only literature of any use in working on a subject deals explicitly with that subject and nothing but that subject, your reading list must be a slim and barren one indeed, and it is not surprising when you fail to see associated logic, mine or other. If you think that the value of reference material is completely subjective and the concept is fundamentally meaningless, then it is not clear why you think that anything in WP is worth doing at all; the value of reference text derives from its applicability to the primary subject matter in the contexts in which it is consulted. Its meaningfulness is a function of the degree to which it augments or supports information available from other sources. What did you think? If that concept is beyond you I would love to sympathise of course, but currently I am rather busy. My comment in favour of inclusion stands. JonRichfield (talk) 06:33, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
This isn't a long reading list of materials on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in the United Kingdom but a WP navigation box. And the issue is not whether the book is relevant, but the level of relevance. There are thousands of articles in WP that are of some relevance to the topic of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in the United Kingdom, this is a navbox for the most directly relevant and closely connected only. Rangoon11 (talk) 13:02, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes. And? JonRichfield (talk) 13:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

  • The ABPI statement does not respond to claims made in the book about the UK. The book is about the pharmaceutical industry worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the US. That it has been discussed in the British media does not in any way establish that the book is wholly or mainly about the UK. Many books which are in no way about the UK are discussed in the UK media, and relevant specialists are asked to debate them. Rangoon11 (talk) 19:18, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I think you ought to read it before passing judgment on it, Rangoon. As I said, a great deal of it is about the UK, too much to summarize here on talk. What makes you think that it has a particular emphasis on the US? SlimVirgin (talk) 19:49, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
  • If I had a copy then I would be very happy to have a closer look. I have read a few reviews and synopses though. They mention the US quite a bit, no mention of the UK at all. However you stated above "I don't know which other countries are referred to" in the book, which begs the question whether you have read it yourself?Rangoon11 (talk) 19:55, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
  • You could buy a copy (it's out in paperback already), order it from a library, or if you're in the UK go to a bookstore and just take a look through it. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:21, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
  • And can the RfC also please be added to the Economy, trade, and companies list, since that seems the most relevant. Rangoon11 (talk) 19:32, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.