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.
©2013 Ben Goldacre (P)2013 Tantor
"A useful guide for policymakers, doctors and the patients who need protection against deliberate disinformation.” (Kirkus)
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)
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