Medicine is broken. We like to imagine that it's based on evidence and the results of fair tests. In reality, those tests are often profoundly flawed. We like to imagine that doctors are familiar with the research literature surrounding a drug, when in reality much of the research is hidden from them by drug companies. We like to imagine that doctors are impartially educated, when in reality much of their education is funded by industry. We like to imagine that regulators let only effective drugs onto the market, when in reality they approve hopeless drugs, with data on side effects casually withheld from doctors and patients.
All these problems have been protected from public scrutiny because they're too complex to capture in a sound bite. But Dr. Ben Goldacre shows that the true scale of this murderous disaster fully reveals itself only when the details are untangled. He believes we should all be able to understand precisely how data manipulation works and how research misconduct on a global scale affects us. In his own words, "the tricks and distortions documented in these pages are beautiful, intricate, and fascinating in their details." With Goldacre's characteristic flair and a forensic attention to detail, Bad Pharma reveals a shockingly broken system and calls for something to be done. This is the pharmaceutical industry as it has never been seen before.
"A useful guide for policymakers, doctors and the patients who need protection against deliberate disinformation.” (Kirkus)
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A must read for health professionals
Anatomy of an Epidemic. Both provide invaluable information about pharmaceuticals, both are scrupulously researched
Like most people, I assumed that the process by which prescriptions meds were approved met the highest of scientific standards. I am a researcher by training and I understand that while meeting such standards is difficult, it isn't optional. Goldacre's review of the process is a bit dramatic in tone, but his facts are verifiable and his case is quite credible. As a psychologist, this information is particularly valuable to me. Most of my clients take some kind of medication, and all assume that these meds are proven safe and effective. The more I know about the efficacy and safety of medications, the better able I am to work with my clients and their doctors (many of whom ALSO assume all meds are safe and effective, compliments of the FDA)
Read this book before you prescribe again
The author pulls down the curtain of deception that has been held before our eyes by the drug makers. Here in one volume, the author tells the whole story of what they are really up to. There is no step in the process of bringing a drug to market that has not been corrupted. Step by step, the author systematically and thoroughly goes through all of the ways drug development and sales are adversely impacted by the drug industry.Very early in the book, I came realize that, because the medical literature is so corrupted, physicians (such as myself) do not have a true understand about the medicines we prescribe. We don't know if medicines are effective and we don't know if the cause more harm than good. Decades of research are called into question by the author. His conclusions are persuasive and kind of depressing. Much of what we think we know about the medicines on the market today is based on incomplete set of data leaving patients and their doctors in the dark about what this stuff is good for. The ray of hope here is that the author provides concrete recommendations to correct the problems he has discovered. After each major section of the book, he lists what he would do to fix this broken system. Example, to prevent publication bias. All drug studies should be registered and should be published. negative studies provide just as much data positive studies.
The author exposes the problems of drug research that does not get published if the findings show the drug fails to work or produces adverse events.
This book may make you depressed at first but then you get angry
This book should be a included in the core curriculum at every medical school in the world. Every doctor in training should know what the drug makers are up to and that they need to be put on guard. Every doctor who is already in practice should read it too. I have already suggested it no many colleagues.