Le Pharmachien was created in September 2012. A Better Pill Swallow (previously The Pharmafist) is a modest attempt to translate some of my content to English!
My goal is to help you separate facts from opinions and falsehoods about scientific topics that appear to be controversial on the Internet, in the media and in everyday life.
My approach is based on a critical analysis of the scientific literature, scientific skepticism and assessing the quality of argumentation.
Most importantly, my broader mission is to help people develop critical thinking skills and make better choices about their health.
I’m the only person managing this website. While I write and draw everything by myself, I collaborate with scientists from various fields in order to create and review the content; they are listed before each comic they contributed to.
If you enjoy what I do on this site, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and demand that all of my comics in French be translated to English ASAP.
These groups and organizations are important to me and I share common objectives with them:
IMPORTANT MESSAGES AND WARNINGS
This site is both educational and humorous. Thus, you should not always take everything I say literally… My goal is to make you laugh and possibly that you learn in the process a little on scientific topics that are important to me. It contains my opinions that are professional and personal in nature about the state of the evidence on different topics. On this site, I do not give any medical advice and nothing published here should be taken as such. For questions related to your health, consult your doctor, your pharmacist and other healthcare professionals.
Funding and conflicts of interest
This website in entirely self-financed. There are no ads, and I do not profit from visits or clicks.
I have no conflicts of interest to declare. I am not affiliated with any company, in any capacity. I do not own a pharmacy. I do not see pharmaceutical representatives, and I do not follow courses sponsored by the industry.
Copyright and Intellectual Property
Everything you see in here was put together by me alone. I put a lot of effort, passion and energy in this, so I ask that you respect the intellectual property of my content and I invite you to contact me if you would like to use the images or text in one way or another.
The images and content of the website A Bitter Pill to Swallow / The Pharmafist are not free of copyright, since I use and adapt them for different media types. Therefore, any use that is not expressly authorized by me, as well as any reproduction is prohibited. Moreover, I hold a registered trademark for this (# 1682099).
I am not responsible for comments left by readers on this site. I do the best I can to moderate these through the immense amount of work involved in this site … but I’m just one person, not a company. Inappropriate comments probably escape me occasionally, that’s inevitable. In short, if you say bad stuff in a comment, it is you who will have to assume the consequences.
Comments must be on topic. Conflicts of interest should always be disclosed. I will take the liberty of stopping the discussion on any particular topic, if I feel that enough has been said and things are getting boring or repetitive. I will not post comments which are overtly nonsensical or in such poor English that I cannot understand them. I will prevent commentators from monopolizing the discussion (note: this last paragraph is from Edzard Ernst’s blog – http://edzardernst.com/rules).
There is no censorship; I welcome constructive criticism and even insults. However, I will not to approve comments if they clearly contain false information that could mislead readers and jeopardize the educational mission and rigorous nature of The Pharmafist. As an example, if a comment says “there is scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism” and that assertion is not supported by a relevant scientific reference (eg. a PubMed link).
Trade Names and Brands
If you wonder what I think of product XYZ, you’re out of luck. Apart from a few exceptions, I never write the names of medications, trademarks, companies or specific products. The reason for this is that I want to avoid any positive or negative bias towards specific brands (and well… to avoid being sued too). In my comics, I am therefore referring to the ingredients themselves or I invent fictional products inspired by reality.
Similarly, comments left here on the website or on Facebook mentioning a brand / specific company will be rejected and deleted.
Filtering of certain information
There are many questionable websites that spread misleading and dangerous health information online. I never say their names, because I don’t want to send them traffic. When I want to refer to them, I usually rephrase their names (eg “naturalholistichealthmagictherapy.com”. Similarly, if you include link to such a site in a comment, I will remove it and replace it with an indirect link or with non-hyperlinked text.
The comics are translated from French to English, usually by professional translators, but sometimes by readers who simply want to give me a hand. I’ve accepted the fact that some translations are not perfect, but that they can be improved over time, so I really appreciate when people tell me about translation mistakes or typos. If you feel that a translation is subpar, how about offering your help to make it better? The more proofreaders, the better.