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Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients Reprint Edition
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
In "Bad Pharma" you will read about the ways in which vested interests bamboozle us and our doctors, whether by accident or design. You will find out why the benefits of most medicines are overstated, and why the systematic review is incredibly important. You will become, in short order, very angry indeed, and then you will be told what you can do about that anger - whether you are a patient or a doctor.
Goldacre's style is engaging and informal, and he is a practising doctor. The books include anecdotes about how he himself has unknowingly prescribed drugs which are not just ineffective, but worse than doing nothing - despite having read the research evidence with a particularly critical eye. All the data and references are there if you need them but they don't derail the narrative, so the book functions both as a reference and as an eminently readable story.
This is my pick for best book of the year so far, and one of the most important books most of us will have read. This is about your health. Get informed, get angry and get active!
You work with research MDs that won't have a career if they don't get results. As an Epidemiologist you work part time on numerous small grants that don't add up to an adequate salary, so many of us do (did) statistical work for drug company trials. You don't get recommended for further consulting work if you are "overly rigorous", shall we say.
In the late 70's new FDA requirements caused everyone to step up their game, but at increasing expense to doing trials. To contains costs, 30 years later, trials are now outsourced to about a half dozen separate specialist companies each doing one part of the study. A Clinical program management company, a data staging company, various companies that do the raw analysis (e.g. reading of CAT, MRI data), a company that prepares the results according to FDA submission requirements. All of them competing for the next contract, and competing on cost.
You can see where this is going....
I never witnessed any truly unethical behavior. There is no evil here. Personally, I chose to go into the software industry to avoid having to make daily ethical decisions. Dr. Goldacre wrote the book that many Epidemiologists could write. Hats off to him for actually doing it.
This ex-Epidemiologist only takes generic drugs, because the only good clinical trial is done on the general public, and after it comes off-patent, it's been around long enough to know it's efficacy and side effects.
The book is written in an easy to access language, and so it reads well. He does repeat himself a bit, so one more round of editing and cleanup before release would probably have been a good idea. Some readers on amazon.co.uk have criticised this, but I don't see it as an issue.
You don't need to have a degree in medicine or a higher degree in general to understand the issues Ben highlights.
Ben Goldacre runs the Bad Science website (badscience dot net) and has previously written the book Bad Science. Where Bad Science was an attack on quackery and pseudo science, and his website to a large degree has dealt with the same topics, this book is a critical look at the pharmaceutical industry. As such it ought to silence those that have attacked Ben Goldacre for being in the pockets of the Pharmaceutical industry over time.
Ben Goldacre has done society a big favour by writing this book. I definitely recommend reading it if you want to understand more about how US and European health care works and what can be done to improve it in the future.
Goldacre also holds himself to a far higher standard of scientific excellence than the groups he is critiquing, exhaustively referencing, justifying and clarifying his points so that there is no doubt of the accuracy of his claims.
This book sinks a knife into the heart of the nonsense and pseudo-science that is far too often espoused by the pharmaceutical industry and tacitly endorsed by overawed journalists and cowed academics.
If you want to know why the drugs are you taking sometimes don't work and often make you ill then you need to read this book.
And any medical practitioner, academic or researcher who does not read this book should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
It is absolutely excellent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I work in drug development myself
The book really struck a nerve. It is well written and is tries to remain as light and accessible as possible. Well worth your time.
First off, this is a must read for anyone interested in the shortcomings and pitfalls of drug marketing. Well documented, and a real eye opener. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Fairly written, with pains taken to be accurate but not offensive. I am a nurse and so have seen some of the examples firsthand. Read morePublished 1 month ago by gnsjr
There's more than pharma industry to blame for misinformation in healthcare - well described issues and quite reasonable suggestions for improvement. Read morePublished 1 month ago by vlo
I have given this book to my friends wife who though I was a fool when asking her at a party if she thought that the drug companies were doing more harm than good these days. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wiktoria S
EXCELLENT BOOK!!!! As a medical professional, I was afraid it was going to be conspiracy theory-laden...and was very pleasantly surprised. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elizabeth Peppin
This is not an easy read but I'm glad I read it. I'm not a fan of big pharma & this book makes me less of a fan.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Brilliant book that should be essential reading for everyone including doctors (I am a retired Vet)Published 4 months ago by Ros Coles
I always knew drug companies were motivated by profit rather than a desire to cure disease, but the details are scary. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Fran