Originally rejected by the London Review of Books, this post details why Ben Goldacre’s ‘Bad Pharma’ plays right into the hands of. ‘Bad Science’ hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science, becoming a , copy bestseller. Now Ben Goldacre puts the . Bad Pharma (4th Estate, ) is my book about the misuse of evidence by the pharmaceutical industry, especially the way that negative trial data goes missing .

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Bad Pharma: how drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients

Homeopathic “medicine” by definition has no active ingredients. But for this author to give the constant impression that EVERY drug is a scam, EVERY paper out there is bought and paid for, is disingenuous at best, and the exact charlatanry the author purports to expose at worst, and he’s making quite the profit himself. See my old post on this issue for a detailed discussion of drug development costs. For example, in a journal article published in PLOS Medicineresearchers studied every published trial on statinsdrugs prescribed to reduce cholesterol levels.

But then again, his website says he frequently gives speeches in pgarma venues, so what do you expect.

This is a common problem, where those with the most experience using a drug, are often in direct conflicts of interest, most frequently because of compensation for participation in clinical trials. If I were to run a ogldacre, and then just remove half of my data points so that my results looked much better, well, you would laugh in my face.

Although this will not surprise anyone familiar with the culture of the pharmaceutical industry, Goldacre does a skilled hatchet job, peppered with examples.

As long as that system continues gokdacre allocate health resources in inefficient ways e. Selective use of trials.

They look at sample size s of people in your study is better than you and grandmasample location cultural lifestyles are not alikeas well as outside interests or sponsorships and the number-crunching itself.


Many are approved with lingering questions about long-term safety and effectiveness. He argued that Goldacre had gone “over the top” in devoting a whole chapter chapter five to recommending large clinical trials using electronic patient data holdacre general practitioners, without fully pointing out how problematic these can be; such trials raise issues, for example, about informed consent and regulatory oversight.

The FDA did eventually threaten to take the ineffective drug off the market, but a special interest patient’s group demanded the drug remain available because they claimed it worked for them, not realizing they were simply experiencing the placebo effect.

Because their methods are transparent, this mistake is picked up by a Japanese doctor. Drugs are tested by the people who Medicine is broken. Oct 07, Charlene rated it liked it Shelves: They might never have found out if the US Justice department hadn’t taken GSK to court for illegal marketing and failing to report drug safety data. Oct 06, Mohamed al-Jamri rated it liked it. As someone with experience in both the world of research and clinical medicine, I can say that the information in this book is accurate.

Drugs are tested by the people who manufacture them, in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of weird, unrepresentative patients, and analysed using techniques which are flawed by design, in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments.

Then there is the marketing.

It’s far from a perfect system. This is about real people who die due to not publishing e. Conflict of interest category Conflicts of interest on Wikipedia category. Refresh and try again. New drugs are tested by the companies that make them, often in trials pharm to make the drug look good, which are then written up and published in medical journals.

Cheaper by the Dozen. How to solve this problem? However, it must be remembered that the full patient data for even a modest trial run to thousands of printed pages. Only few countries allow this. All of these solutions are achievable. It made me cry out loud and swear a lot just ask my girlfriend who had to listen to it for the most time. We see the ways drug reps use non-medical incentives to get their products prescribed, and the way drug companies hire academics for their names only on ghost written by the company scholarly papers and in some cases publish their own journals masquerading as scholarly, scientific journals.


Some of the recommendations he has to improve regulation includes:. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. As a consequence, he argues, doctors may have no idea what the effects are of the drugs they prescribe. Ethical problems for trial participants. Auxology Biological hazard Chief Medical Officer Cultural competence Deviance Environmental health Euthenics Genomics Globalization and disease Health economics Health literacy Health policy Health system Health care reform Public health law Maternal health Medical anthropology Medical sociology Mental health Pharmaceutical policy Public health intervention Public health laboratory Reproductive health Social psychology Sociology of health and illness.

In medicine, we rely on summaries of evidence, we collate the results from many different trials. My colleagues who work in the pharmaceutical industry agree.

Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients by Ben Goldacre

It’s practically the second commandment. Think about that the next time your doctor prescribes you any medicine, as mine did yesterday. It’s a myth spread by marketing companies. Excellent book that people need to read. Where do new drugs come from 3 phases then regulator.