Fiona Godlee, the first woman editor of the BMJ (originally called the British Medical Journal), is no ivory-tower academic. A crusader for medical ethics, Godlee is known for blasting governments for being lax, taking on global pharma giants such as Roche and GlaxoSmithKline for reportedly hiding trial data, speaking fearlessly against corruption in science, and championing the cause of patient-centric healthcare. In India to attend the BMJ South Asia Awards 2016, Godlee talks to Economic Times.
Godlee: “Rather than tackling the lifestyle issues, going straight to insulin is not the right option. That is a big worry because insulin is not without its harm and is expensive in India. I think it’s a medical scam, an industry scam. Patients think that this is the best drug for them, and they need to pay for it or else they would die, and a very big group of people are vulnerable to it.
I think we need to speak out against the pressure to put people on insulin. With diabetes becoming such an epidemic in India, we need to look at the root causes and put money there rather than putting people on insulin.”