The story of the serotonin hypothesis for depression, and its enthusiastic promotion by drug companies, is part of a wide process that has been called disease mongering or medicalisation , where diagnostic categories are widened, whole new diagnoses are invented, and normal variants of human experience are pathologised, so they can be treated with pills Ben Goldacre touched on the evils of the pharmaceutical industry in his previous book, Bad Science, and this book greatly expands upon those chapters Unlike Bad Science, which read like a series of blog posts, Bad Pharma is muchcohesive and better written The biggest surprise for me was that the theory that depression is a chemical imbalance caused by low levels of serotonin isn t true It s a myth spread by marketing companies.
There are major problems with the pharmaceutical industry from misleading or missing data, testing dangerous dr Goldacre has a way of making complex science subjects accessible to the wider public His first book, Bad Science, highlighted the way that the media dealt with reporting science, and in this book he concentrates his ire onto the 600 billion global pharmacy industry, now dominated by a handful of behemoths.
And what he reveals is frankly terrifying He details the way that the industry hides a large majority of the trial data, the way that the legislation requiring data to be published is ignored by companies, and in the EU it is still secret in some cases There is loads of detail on the way that the data is cherry picked to demonstrate that a particular drug is so much better than the competition There is lots of detail on the appalling way that the industry is regulated, even though it is very heavily regulated, most of it is ineffective and not enforced, and where the regulat All Feel Uncomfortable About The Role Of Profit In Healthcare, We All Have A Vague Notion That The Global Bn Pharmaceutical Industry Is Somehow Evil And Untrustworthy, But That Sense Rarely Goes Beyond A Flaky, Undifferentiated New Age Worldview Bad Pharma Puts Real Flesh On Those Bones, Revealing The Rigged Evidence Used By Drug Companies Bad Information Means Bad Treatment Decisions, Which Means Patients Suffer And Die There Is No Climactic Moment Of Villainy, But Drugs Are Used Which Are Overpriced, Less Effective, And Have Side Effects ☆ read â Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients by Ben Goldacre è There Are Five Cheap, Easy Things We Can Do To Fix The Problem Bad Pharma Takes A Big Dirty Secret Out Into The Open, And Will Provide A Single Focus For Concerns People Have Both Inside And Outside Medicine I appreciate how Ben Goldacre is trying to open the eyes of the people to many of the issues relating to science reporting I check his blog every now and then, but this is the first time I ve read his books As background, I m a GP in NZ, British by birth and training, closer to the start of my career than the end and I don t see drug reps or attend drug sponsored CME consciously at least sometimes it can be difficult to tell I m also fairly clued up on the issues he presents here so in someways it was preaching to the converted He makes many good points and exposes the day to day manipulative and deceitful practices of the drug companies and particularly highlights just how hard it is to be a doctor and make truly informed decisions Something that worries myself and most of my colleagues on a day to day basis am I doing the right thing I would imagine this book c Okay, somehow Goodreads didn t save the last review I tried to write So I ll try again If I only had read this book a day earlier I could have flagged it as the most depressing read of 2012 It made me cry out loud and swear a lot just ask my girlfriend who had to listen to it for the most time Bad Pharma gives a great overview on how medicine is failing patients aka each of us all the time Publication bias, missing access to raw data and all the other nuisances which might be familiar to you from other fields of science also apply to medicine The only catch being In medicine this lack of knowledge, often facilitated by lacking access to data, is killing people, virtually every day We don t know how drugs compare to each othe This Affects You I m glad I stopped and read the short no less impactful essay The Corporation by Joel Bakan midway through this book, it definitely helped in coping with the subject I feel like Ben Goldacre has simply stumbled across aspecific problem in a larger mess our world faces today What the reader will have introduced to themselves during the 400 pages of Bad Pharma, is a consistently horrifying expose of the corruption and bad practices that have taken place in a deregulated environment, fostered by corporations within the pharmaceutical industry over the last few decades Goldacre writes in laymen terms, which I appreciated as someone who knows next to nothing about the industry, and provides plenty of background information to keep you in the know So Ñ Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients Ñ Here Ben Goldacre follows up on his previous book, Bad Science, by turning his spotlight solely on the pharmaceuticals industry This is a terrifying book because it argues in great detail that our understanding of the efficacy of many drugs and the extent of their side effects is fundamentally flawed.
Goldacre starts with the criticism he finds most damning namely, when drug companies conduct a trial and the results don t support their own medecine, they frequently fail to publish the results or they use dishonest tricks there s a chapter on ways that trials are intentionally flawed by design to yield positive results for the sponsoring company like re analysing the data until they find some random subset tha
This is an outstanding book and everyone should read it It took me about 3 sittings to get through it as I found rage slowly building as I read it and had to get up and pace around the house a bit.
The book systematically works through all the ways in which the practice of evidence based medicine is being distorted by the big pharmaceutical companies It identifies all of the perverse incentives that make those distortions an unavoidable part of doing business, and then helpfully identifies ways to fix things.
My only problem with the book is it gives ammunition to alternative medicine proponents, as it highlights a lot of problems with western medicine To that I say evidence based medicine is still the best method we ve got This book highlights how big pharma can distort the way evidence based practice works, alternative m Currently reading this but not so sure how muchI can take There is some decent information here The title is absolutely true Drug companies are businesses and multibillion dollar corporations are not ethical paragons They do not publish studies that make their drug look bad or even as good as There are sponsored journals that are sponsor biased Sometimes legit journals want the most interesting this changes everything articles rather than another dog bites man article to boost readership That s the media The problem with this book is that it is a combination of fact, hyperbole, and omission, not unlike the drug companies themselves Every other page is HOW MANY PEOPLE COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED or if this makes you as angry as it does me and I m sure it does, my buddy he says that in