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 .

Author: Kanris Dataxe
Country: Russian Federation
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Finance
Published (Last): 24 December 2012
Pages: 335
PDF File Size: 11.28 Mb
ePub File Size: 11.27 Mb
ISBN: 750-7-81313-269-4
Downloads: 54101
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Nelmaran

For example, he writes, if four people out of 1, will have a heart attack within the glodacre, but on statins only two will, that is a 50 percent reduction if expressed as relative risk reduction. Explicit use of et al.

Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients

The book systematically works through all the ways in which the practice of evidence based medicine is being distorted by the big pharmaceutical companies. One example is of a heart drug estimated to have killed aroundpeople before proper trial data revealed the dangers.

Leads to waste of money time etc instead of developing new goldare drugs. This is not a conspiracy theorist attack on vaccines. Goldacre is known for his “Bad Science” column in the Guardianwhich he has written sinceand for his first book, Bad Science Constructive criticism of the pharmaceutical industry is surprisingly difficult to find.

One of the interesting projects that Goldacre describes is his work in promoting real-world evaluations of effectiveness, which have the potential to tell us which drug works best in a representative population.

Bad Pharma – Wikipedia

Cherry picking among false positives. In the final chapter, Goldacre looks at how doctors are persuaded to prescribe “me-too drugs,” brand-name drugs that are no more effective than significantly cheaper off-patent ones.

This change, however, will only come when we demand better — better from pharmaceutical companies, better from regulators, and better from our fellow health professionals.


Two breast-cancer patients who campaigned in the UK in for trastuzumab Herceptin to be available on the NHS were being handled by a baad firm working for Rochethe drug’s manufacturer. Consider rosiglitazone, a new type of diabetes drug, which was greeted with real enthusiasm in As bad as drug companies can be, they still do more good than harm.

Does he really believe that murder, i.

But this is a view shaped by an ignorance of the pharmaceutical development process. The blame lies not only with the pharmaceutical companies, but also with journal editors, who judge that reports showing no significant benefit of a treatment compared with placebo do not deserve journal space.

In that earlier book, much of his wrath was targeted at the so-called complimentary practitioners who all too often make claims that are completely unsupported by anything akin to objective evidence.

The phamra with ensuring effective ethical standards and clinical trials oversight should be obvious.

I am not allowed to give as much as pen to a person working for a state-owned company because it might influence their decision in my favor. However, they were significantly more expensive that other anti-inflammatory drugs.

These problems know no borders, and affect us all. Most doctors work for the state, so I don’t understand this dichtomy.

So, how good bd it? Research that is used as evidence-based treatment is peer-reviewed by other researchers and physicians and statisticians for any possible flaws or oversights in conclusions.

Bad Pharma: how drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients

And so are the patient groups. I read Goldacre’s book Bad Science very recently, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to not go for my usual buffer period between very similar books and just jump right into Bad Pharma.

Goldacre does a great job of highlighting that many concerns we need to be aware of, and take measures to correct, if we are to have any real understanding of any medical concerns we attempt to study.

Br J Clin Pharmacol. We like to imagine that doctors are well-educated, when in reality much of their education is funded by golracre. When trials throw up results that companies don’t like, they are perfectly entitled to hide them from doctors and patients, so we only ever see a distorted picture of any drug’s true effects.


As someone who’s worked for two of the biggest firms, I’m still unhappy by the lack of transparency. Excellent book that people need to read. No company wants to have a reputation of being the lowest of the low.

Blobbogram aka Forest plot. This distorted evidence is then communicated and applied in a distorted fashion.

It proves difficult even for regulatory authorities and official advisory bodies, such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, to unearth unfavourable data from company-sponsored trials.

The Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial. Later, GSK added up results from many trials and found Buse was right. Yet Goldacre sketches out a path for reform — one in which transparency is the rule, not the exception, and one in which the pharmaceutical industry can engage with the health care system in ways that will help it do what we all want it to do — bring innovative new medications to market that improve the health and welfare of patients.

Regrettably most countries rely on pharmaceutical companies to disseminate information on their own products — and they are hardly unbiased sources of information. People who earn living from participating in trials Genie Pigs. And who can see the data; they can even prevent researchers working in the trial from analyzing and sharing data. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in the United Kingdom.

They exist to make and sell drugs, some of which work well, and to make a profit for their shareholders. During a clinical trial that took place in Nigeria, Pfizer withheld the effective dose of an antibiotic known to work so they could test their new antibiotic.