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‘Bad Science’ hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science, becoming a 400,000 copy bestseller. Now Ben Goldacre puts the $600bn global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. What he reveals is a fascinating, terrifying mess.
Doctors and patients need good scientific evidence to make informed decisions. But instead, companies run bad trials on their own drugs, which distort and exaggerate the benefits by design. When these trials produce unflattering results, the data is simply buried. All of this is perfectly legal. In fact, even government regulators withhold vitally important data from the people who need it most. Doctors and patient groups have stood by too, and failed to protect us. Instead, they take money and favours, in a world so fractured that medics and nurses are now educated by the drugs industry.
The result: patients are harmed in huge numbers.
Ben Goldacre is Britain’s finest writer on the science behind medicine, and ‘Bad Pharma’ is the book that finally prompted Parliament to ask why all trial results aren’t made publicly available – this edition has been updated with the latest news from the select committee hearings. Let the witty and indefatigable Goldacre show you how medicine went wrong, and what you can do to mend it.
From the reviews of Bad Pharma:
‘This is a book to make you enraged – properly, bone-shakingly furious…A work of brilliance.’ Daily Telegraph
‘An important book. Ben Goldacre is angry, and by the time you put ‘Bad Pharma’ down, you should be too.’ New Statesman
‘A book that deserves to be widely read, because anyone who does read it cannot help feeling both uncomfortable and angry.’ Economist
About the author
Ben Goldacre is a doctor, writer, broadcaster and academic who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims from drug companies, newspapers, government reports, PR people and quacks. His first book, Bad Science, reached Number One in the non-fiction charts, sold over 400,000 copies in the UK alone, and has been translated into 25 languages. He is 38 and lives in London.
In this searing expose of the pharmaceutical industry, physician and journalist Goldacre (Bad Science) uncovers a cesspool of corrupt practices designed to sell useless ordangerous drugs to an unsuspecting public. His main focus is the distortion of the science on which evidence-based medicine relies: drug companies, he argues, deploy deliberately biased clinical trials and twisted statistics to exaggerate their drugs benefits, while suppressing countless studies that show negative results or deadly side effects. Big Pharma s malign influence doesn t stop there, he contends; doctors prescribing practices are determined not by patients needs but by the insidious bribes and blandishments of sales representatives, the industry s ubiquitous "educational" programs, and fake research articles, journals, and even textbooks signed by independent academics but authored by industry-hired ghost writers. Goldacre s indictment fingers many culprits profit-hungry industry executives, lax regulatory agencies that collude in hiding crucial information from the public, and complaisant journal editors and university officials who put their imprimatur on blatant misconduct. Drawing on a wealth of research but writing squarely for laypeople, Goldacre conveys complicated scientific, medical, and ethical issues in simple, clear, plainspoken language that pulls no punches. The result is a smart, infuriating diagnosis of the rotten heart of the medical-industrial complex.