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Bad pharma : how drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Ben Goldacre

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3631329,902 (4.19)35
Member:preater
Title:Bad pharma : how drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients
Authors:Ben Goldacre
Info:London : Fourth Estate, 2012.
Collections:Library book
Rating:****
Tags:nonfiction, library book, pop science, medicine, read, journalism, activism, clinical trials, pharmaceutical industry, read in 2012, borrowed : london lc

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Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients by Ben Goldacre (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Not quite as much fun as "Bad Science" being very much more serious and more concerned to build an irrefutable case against the pharma industry and its corruption of medicine. Also while one can laugh at quacks and phoneys this is much closer to home. He argues that there is built in distortion in the way medicine is pushed through the system, evidence is subtly distorted, selective results are given wide publicity so that scientific evidence-based medicine is deeply compromised. So costs are greater than they need be, side effects are suffered which could be avoided, continuous improvement is blocked. ( )
  vguy | Jul 29, 2014 |
This book should be required reading for all medical/nursing/therapy students, potential clinical researchers, prospective pharmaceutical company employees, and health journalists.

I worked in medicine, allied health, and clinical research for more than 25 years, and the situation is even worse than I thought. A logical extension of Goldacre's previous book, Bad Science, Bad Pharma details how missing and misleading data are harming policy, physicians, and patients every day. He also offers solid (if overly optimistic) possibilities for addressing the worst of the offenses at the end of each section of the book.

The material can seem a bit overwhelming if taken in all at once. But that's the nature of the beast with health care. One easy thing each of us can do is check whether our physicians have accepted any industry money by going to the Physician Payments Sunshine Act site once it's up and running (should be no later than Sept. 2014).

Goldacre has performed public service of the highest order with this book. Read it.

Edited to add: just for the hell of it, I just searched the clinical trials registry database (clinicaltrials.gov) for all completed Phase III intervention trials (these are the studies that can get drugs approved or rejected for marketing in the U.S.), and discovered that 60% of them have never been published. Your doctors, people writing treatment guidelines, insurance companies, and policy makers are missing more than half of the evidence needed to make good decisions. Get educated, everybody. ( )
  Pat_F. | Jul 25, 2014 |
Everyone should read this book. Boldacre shows how trials for drugs and their perceived usefulness can be manipulated - unpublished data and outright data suppression, trials stopped early, trials extended, ghost written journal articles, etc. How doctors are influenced by the drug industry, beginning in medical school and continuing throughout their practice.

Goldacre is himself a practicing physician and this book stems in part from his outrage at having prescribed medications when he thought were safe and effective after reviewing the available published data, only to find that in some cases the drugs were not only ineffective, but worse that nothing. ( )
  bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
I will hopefully be able to come back to this sometime. Good information - compelling topic and writing. Just a little too much for summer schedule.
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
I already knew that the pharmaceutical system was greatly flawed, but Goldacre puts a useful focus to the issues.
Enjoyed his Britishisms. ( )
  2wonderY | Dec 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Goldacre is not a conspiracy minded nutcase who sees bad guys behind every garbage can. No, he sees a system that has, despite some really perverse incentives, produced some blindingly good products. But those incentives also allow life-threateningly poor decisions to be rewarded, and that needs to change.

Goldacre's encouraging outlook is why each chapter ends with a list of what you, personally, can do to help. Questions you can ask your doctor if you are a patient. Things you can do as a doctor. What academics can do, what pharmaceutical companies can do.

Read this book. It will make you mad, it will make you scared. And, hopefully, it will bring about some change.
added by jimroberts | editArs Technica, Chris Lee (Jan 5, 2013)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Goldacreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corral, RodrigoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cowley, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lacey, RobertCopy editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Goldacre puts the 600-billion-dollar global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. What he reveals is a fascinating, terrifying mess.

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