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.
"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.
"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.
"the clue is in the title"
the first few chapters were the best, all the other chapters were repetitions!
He made his point early on, and a very good point it was. I have used it to introduce a lesson into my science teaching. He should get a Nobel Peace prize for having the courage to do it. However the rest of the book is a rather tedious repetition, which started to annoy me, it became a rant.
Nothing by Ben Goldacre,
I think after hours of saying the same thing over and over again one book was almost too much.
I think I have said enough
"A problem that badly needs fixing."
Ok, so this is a problem most people are kind of aware of but this book does an excellent job of bringing all the issues in to one concise book of problems with pharma.
The narration was very good and I highly recommend this book.
"A clear & fascinating breakdown of complex issues."
The clear and no nonsense tackling of the subject matter makes Bad Pharma an easy to follow book that takes on some very complex ideas and issues. Ben's writing and the audio performance of it keeps the material fascinating and engaging throughout.
This book lifts the lid on an industry that spends a fortune on promoting an outward image of competence and trust worthiness and exposes some very real issues that go to the heart of many segments of the pharmaceutical industry.
In that respect I'd compare this to Felicity Lawrence's "Not on the Label" who does a similar job with the food industry.
This isn't really a book of scene's so much as a progression through a narrative documentation of the problems with a system and the players within it. As such the whole book feels like a whole entity with no favourite scene to be taken out of context.
"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.
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