Log in with your email address username.


Attention doctorportal newsletter subscribers,

After December 2018, we will be moving elements from the doctorportal newsletter to MJA InSight newsletter and rebranding it to Insight+. If you’d like to continue to receive a newsletter covering the latest on research and perspectives in the medical industry, please subscribe to the Insight+ newsletter here.

As of January 2019, we will no longer be sending out the doctorportal email newsletter. The final issue of this newsletter will be distributed on 13 December 2018. Articles from this issue will be available to view online until 31 December 2018.

With great power comes great responsibility

- Featured Image

To the Editor: In October 2013, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation television program Catalyst featured a two-part documentary series entitled Heart of the matter. The first episode questioned the role of dietary saturated fat in the development of heart disease, and the second debated the use of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) as a suitable treatment for hypercholesterolaemia.1

Justin Coleman, a general practitioner and senior lecturer in medicine at Griffith University, provided an excellent summary of the two episodes, highlighting the bias of several of the medical experts featured in the program.2 Coleman drew particular attention to their undisclosed conflicts of interest, describing one expert as having his own commercial line of alternative treatments for heart disease. The views portrayed in the program could not have been published in any reputable medical journal without adequate disclosure of the experts’ conflicts of interest. So why should this be allowed on television, when the audience is potentially so much larger and more impressionable?

Perhaps the worst of the views aired was from an expert who suggested that starting statins means weighing…