- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (February 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0865478007
- ISBN-13: 978-0865478008
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 182 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients Reprint Edition
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In the follow-up to his popular Bad Science (2010), British medical doctor Goldacre reveals how pharmaceutical companies mislead doctors and hurt patients. They “sponsor” trials, which tend to yield favorable results, while negative results often remain unreported. He also reports that drug companies spend twice as much on marketing and advertising as on researching and developing new drugs. Unfortunately for U.S. readers, he focuses largely on the UK, but ghost authorship of studies and “continuing medical education” boondoggle trips for doctors are problematic everywhere, and he does refer to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on multiple occasions. And everyone, everywhere should feel unsettled by his discovery that pharmaceutical companies funnel $10 million to $20 million a year to such major medical journals as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Not surprisingly, he notes, studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry are that much more likely to get published in these influential journals. Goldacre’s essential exposé will prompt readers to ask more questions before automatically popping a doctor-prescribed pill. --Karen Springen
Bad Pharma is surely the most comprehensive account to date of how the pharmaceutical industry games the regulatory process. Still, Bad Pharma is short on practical prescriptions for reform, and it is not until the last ten pages that Goldacre acknowledges that drug companies are manufacturing products that save lives and alleviate pain for billions of people. —Chris Wilson
Top customer reviews
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.
The one thing I came away from with this is research any drug you've been prescribed before taking it blindly, even at your doctor's recommendation, assuming it's not an emergency situation, and be proactive with your doctor if you do not get the results expected, or you have side effects. There's almost always more than one treatment plan.
The author seems passionate and sincere about his subject. What I don't like about it is the writing style is preachy, a little sensational ("as we shall see in the next chapter" "horror story" etc. at least once every chapter) and redundant, the same info could have been presented much more concisely and convincingly in half the space or less. In fact if you just google and read various reviews of the book you'll get pretty much all the major points. Maybe he's trying to be careful to show the pharm companies in a bad light without getting sued- a real life concern, and/or really back up what he's saying. He notes citations for most if not all of his claims, though it's a little ironic he points to studies that show studies are not accurate, kind of like saying 82.6% of statistics shown as percentages are false.
I really enjoyed how Ben Goldacre talks about how many medications that have been proven to help relieve a certain illness has proven to do otherwise via clinical studies outside parties have conducted to verify if it really was effective. He also addresses how major drug companies such as Merck & Co. have altered their clinical trials results just to get their drug on the market. Similarly what happen to Merck& Co. and their drug, Vioxx, it ended up killing many people. Vioxx was used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis. When Merck and Co. were sued, many safety hazards came about that were not disclosed by the company. The drug ended up being taken off the market because it was more dangerous than effective.
Ben also addresses how Direct to Consumer selling has increased the usage of medication in the USA and how medication advertisements on TV can be misleading to consumers. It is so misleading that it is only permitted in USA and New Zealand. This is why 70% of Drug Companies’ profit comes mainly from the USA. Ben Goldacre also explains how Pharmaceutical Companies sponsor or pay for many of the academic journals written about the drugs they place on the market, bribe lobbyists, sponsor patients groups, pay for the required professional education for doctors, work together with educational and governmental institutions, and numerous unethical sales/marketing techniques just to get their product out in the market.
Bad Pharma was a very informational book. It provided many statistical facts about Pharmaceutical companies and studies that have been conducted to prove that they mislead doctor and patients. The book focused on the medical industry in general.It was perfect for my research project.