Science’ hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science, becoming a 400,000 copy bestseller. Now Ben Goldacre puts the $600bn global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. What he reveals is a fascinating, terrifying mess.
Doctors and patients need good scientific evidence to make informed decisions. But instead, companies run bad trials on their own drugs, which distort and exaggerate the benefits by design. When these trials produce unflattering results, the data is simply buried. All of this is perfectly legal. In fact, even government regulators withhold vitally important data from the people who need it most. Doctors and patient groups have stood by too, and failed to protect us. Instead, they take money and favours, in a world so fractured that medics and nurses are now educated by the drugs industry.
The pharmaceutical industry spends more on marketing than it does on research and development. New diseases are invented in order to swell profits. It distorts and suppresses the results of clinical trials if they are unfavourable. Patients' pressure groups are covertly sponsored by pill manufacturers. Its offences are countless and the consequences are felt by us all. What we trust to cure us may be ineffectual or actually harmful. Patients are harmed in huge numbers.
Ben Goldacre is Britain’s finest writer on the science behind medicine, and ‘Bad Pharma’ is a clear and witty attack, showing exactly how the science has been distorted, how our systems have been broken, and how easy it would be to fix them.
©2012 Ben Goldacre (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
So this broke my heart, but it is informative and reasoned and complete and gently worded and...you can't easily fault it, except that it will tell you things that you don't want to know.
We don't know anything we think we know about drugs...and that is terrifying.
This is a harder ride than Bad Science, but it was worth it.
"Every medical doctor should read this!"
I am an infectious disease physician. 'Bad Pharma' is a book about the failure of implementing evidence based clinical medicine, the factors contributing to it and the fake fixes. This is an eye opener, useful for all MDs whether involved in clinical trials, receiving pharma reps or going on conference trips with pharma and other “jollies”. (we all say that we are not influenced…) Also interesting is the conflict of interest that Journals have in publishing clinical trials.
"Too long could be made into chapter of Bad Science"
Actually deserves better than 2 stars out of 5 if you are deeply interested in the subject, but it is much too deep then my interest for drugs and pharmaceutical business. After excellent Bad Science from the same author (note: read it again), which covered many different aspects, this is too long and too repetitive for my liking. I think this could be made into one (longer) chapter of Bad Science for everyone except maybe for MDs or people from pharmaceuticals business...
I feel my time would be better spent if I read Bad Science again.
"Important subject material, well written"
More pure gold from Ben Goldacre... his last book 'Bad Science' was a great book, and this one doesn't disappoint... though it is quite a disturbing expose of our broken healthcare system. Very well researched and written, and read by a competent and easy-on-the-ears narrator. I wasn't entirely surprised at the level of corruption in the healthcare industry as revealed in these pages, though I wasn't aware just how many players were implicated. Issues that unfortunately involve most of us, but concern very few of us.
"The terrifying world of scientific publications"
This brilliantly written yet terrifying book on the world of scientific drugs trials - needs to be read by all. How we are deceived by pharmaceutical companies and how doctors go about prescribing dugs on this biased information is scary and needs to be addressed immediately by all involved. A must read for everyone especially those in the world of scientific research.
"Just listen and be ready to be shocked!"
This is a must listen/purchase book. If you loved Bad Science and or ever will need modern medicine then you need to listen to this book.
"Great listen, heavy on the science"
Essential to anybody remotely related to the medical field. A thought provoking piece for everyone else. A riveting listen - the reader really takes in the author's persona and many many topics that makes one stop and question what so many take for granted in and about the medical field.
At the end, the reader interviews the author! Fantastic exchange, also funny moments as the listener till that point associates the voice of the reader to that of the author.
Realisation how large the problem is that is set out by the author
This is a little heavy on the science and medical terms. Even as a doctor, I had to concentrate on a few parts to make sure I didn't lose track. Someone less familiar with the medical world might want to have the book at hand for reference (the print has a glossary, references etc).
"Gripping if depressing listening"
A compelling, if appalling, story which, if true , shows how international drug companies act completely unethically giving people like us no chance of knowing if the treatments recommended to us are the best ones for us. The book felt overlong and often seemed to be labouring the point but perhaps it's a point worth labouring. I listened with horrfied fascination to the catalogue of lies, obfuscations , omissions and ineffectual regulation . What is really sad is that given the pressure that the health service is under that the taxpayer seems to be spending billions on drugs when cheaper alternatives are available. Not an enjoyable read but certainly a necessary one
"Good, but way too long…"
This book corrects the myths promulgated by the press and provides us with spectacles to see through the fog of pharmaceutical statistics and marketing.
The book is longwinded throughout and could have dealt with the subject in one third of the time.
Ben is patronizing in places, for example, ‘this is difficult…’.
Err, no it isn’t. The entire content of his book is easily accessible to anyone with a basic knowledge of mathematics and science.
The excellent narration is a fair representation of the text, so as a consequence is annoyingly ‘earnest’ and ‘outraged’ in places.
"Brillant book for all medics and academics"
Although this isn't a comparison as such it does link in well with Ben Goldacres Bad Science. The continuation from Bad Science is great and I find his writing has improved in Bad Pharma (the order of content is far clearer).
I haven't listened to other performances by Jot Davies however I did find his performance brilliant. He clearly had researched Ben Goldacres own lectures and performances and tried to match his tone. Very clear voice.
I found this book evoked every possible emotion. Although I was aware of each case individually when you listen to them back to back I found, much to my surprise, I was outraged. That said Ben Goldacre has a witty and light-hearted way of writing.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you're a medical student. It's a long book to read (I have also read both Bad Pharma and Bad Science) they are excellent reads but it's much easier to listen to them, especially for the general public as it's hard to motivate yourself to read a such a long book.
Doctors, politicians, and those involved in the field
Made it shorter!
I came to this having loved Bad Medicine. Unfortunately, this book is just too repetitive to be as entertaining a listen, even though the subject matter is clearly very important. There are moments where Ben states "we'll cover this in more detail later in the book" and I, for one, thought..."there's MORE detail than this?"...I am afraid I gave up about a third of the way in. For politicians and doctors, though, it's an important book. For the vaguely interested and appalled layman - I'm not so sure.
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