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.
"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.
"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).
"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.
"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.
"An important book for everyone"
A brilliant, witty, shocking and important look at the failures involved in our medicines, not just of the companies themselves but also of regulators, academics who literally hire out their names and reputations and others.
It isn't at all difficult to follow, you need no specialist knowledge, it isn't dry or dull and it talks about things that affect us all.
It is a book that matters and one that will help you make informed decisions about your own health.
Hopefully it will galvanize enough change that in the future we will know if the medicines we take and buy as a society actually do what they claim to.
If I could only recommend one book I have read, it would honestly be this one.
"An important book- required reading"
Ben Goldacre is always lucid and witty. He makes his case powerfully in artless prose. There is something moving about his determination to shine a light in dark places without ever sounding self righteous or priggish. If he was made Health Minister, his integrity and desire for sound evidence and good data would save many lives and millions of pounds from the NHS budget. He ingenuously asks the right questions that need honest answers and exposes the deceptions and fake fixes of policy makers and the researchers who compromise for professional advancement or gain. Ben has a forensic grasp of human venality and of the slippery practices of Pharmaceutical companies.
I hope he will inspire many medical students to cast a cold eye on the manipulation of evidence and the shameful practice of ghost written papers in academic journals.
"Must read for doctors especially :)"
I liked this book a lot. Together with Bad Science it is a must read to everyone. I'd like them both to be translated into my native language as well. Would buy and reread both, even if I've read them both already. Especially I'd recommend this book to medical people. Bad Science would be good to read by homeopathy lovers. I hope these books will make people think more critically and not believe everything without checking.
"Fascinating and scary in parts"
The main thrust of the book is the process by which new medicines are developed is broken and counter-productive and leads to unsafe products
It is factual, so there are no characters
Angry and scared that this is happening, and powerless that I can't control and stop it.
"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
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