A Miracle drug with a murky past… can Dr Andrew Marshall uncover the truth?
Whilst living abroad, Dr Andrew Marshall's colleague and mentor has found a cure for a deadly form of brain cancer, putting the hospital on the world map. But after returning to work in Melbourne, Andrew discovers anomalies in some of the patients' medical records, and becomes concerned that his mentor's actions may have been unethical and illegal.
Andrew finds himself compelled to search for the truth, even if the consequences could be disastrous for the department and ruin his mentor.
David Finchley was born in 1946 in post war Germany. He moved to Australia with his family at the age of ten. After completing school, he studied Medicine at Melbourne University, going on to specialise in Neurology, which he continues to practice today. Having been able to reduce his workload, he now has the time to pursue his long-held desire to write.
Author: David Finchley
Question: What is Gold Standard about?
David Finchley: The title refers to the accepted way that new treatments are tested, usually drug treatment. The gold standard is what is known as a double-blind controlled trial. Double blind means that neither the patient or investigator know whether the patient is receiving active drug or placebo. In the book, that process has been perverted to result in a positive outcome for the trial.
Question: How is this book loosely based around your experiences working in a hospital?
David Finchley: Very loosely. I am a neurologist, I did some of my training in London and have been involved in a number of international drug trials. The similarities end there.
Question: How important is it for you to utilising your life experiences in creating a new career?
David Finchley: I suppose, even unconsciously, my life experiences influence my writing. I did not look for a new career because of any unhappiness with my current career. After 45 years in Medicine, I still love what I do.
Question: What did you enjoy most about writing a thriller?
David Finchley: I did not think of the book as a thriller, although I know it has been referred to as such. What I enjoy most about writing anything is immersing myself in the characters and the story. While I'm writing, the story is real to me, not fiction.
Question: There are several issues raised in this book. Was this deliberate or did the story evolve this way?
David Finchley: A bit of both. Scientific honesty is a very important principle. There have been real life examples where results have been faked, or unwanted side effects of drugs have been kept from the public by drug companies. I wanted my main character, Andrew Marshall to be -pure', to be above all that and to expose what had been done, even at his own personal cost.
Interview by Brooke Hunter