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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Little concern, evidently, for the harm to patients — his mantra throughout the book — that this foolish remark could cause if anyone believed it. 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.

The second main theme is criticism of the marketing culture of the pharmaceutical companies, its intrusion into medical education, its powerful influence on prescribing patterns, and the complicity of scientists, doctors and even regulators, in supporting it.

National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Companies have the right to stop some studies at anytime for any reason.

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. If I were to run a study, and then just remove half of my data points so that my results looked much better, well, you would laugh in my face.

There is some details on NICE, but not a huge amount.

Bad Pharma: A Manifesto to Fix the Pharmaceutical Industry

The biggest surprise for me was that the theory that depression is a chemical imbalance caused by low levels of serotonin isn’t true. But the conventional double-blind randomized controlled trial, despite the shortcomings that Goldacre complains of in the design and analysis of many that are performed, has delivered a great deal of valuable information that benefits patients, and is rightly regarded as the best methodology when it is practicable.


We need proper regulations on Big Pharma and not an outright ban. Marketing is used to pervert the evidence-based practice. A doctor needs to use the same information as that available to the regulator in order to make a very different decision: Systematic reviews highest quality.

Doctors generally want to do the best for their patients, but they can’t know what that is if half of the data on clinical trials of drugs is missing and some of the rest is distorted. Many are approved with lingering questions about long-term safety and effectiveness. I’m also fairly clued up on the issues he presents here so in som I appreciate how Ben Goldacre is trying to open the eyes of the people to many of the issues relating to science reporting.

There are other ways to get the data too. But those colleagues can be in the pay of drug companies — often undisclosed — and the journals are, too.

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in the United Kingdom. It will make you angry about the pharmaceutical industry, which is rather the point. The author has completed the Unified Competing Interest form at http: Unlike many polemics Goldacre’s solutions are well thought out and mostly doable mostly!

Occasionally I felt that too much was, perhaps, being made of small parts of the whole and yet it is because each small part contributes to a system that is demonstrably flawed that they have the importance that they do; I would agree with Goldacre’s contention that each of the flaws needs to be tackled from the smallest to the largest.

The FDA has become an agent of the industry!? Sure, Goldacre gives several examples. N Engl J Med. Homeopathic “medicine” by definition has no active ingredients. What will be the response to Goldacre’s book? However, it must be remembered that the full patient data for even a modest trial run to thousands of printed pages. The only source for this estimate that I could discover is a book [ 2 ] by T.


AstraZeneca changed the drug slightly to get a new patent, not because Nexium is any more effective than omeprazole, but because they wanted to make more money.

And so are the patient groups. At end of each chapter suggestions to what to do. Wasn’t applied on ground.

As a consequence, he argues, doctors may have no idea what the effects are of the drugs they prescribe. Almost essential, pyarma book prescribes a mode of relief not only for the pharmaceutical industr[ies], but for many high-level corporations which have problems with public promotion vs.

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

For-profit companies will act to maximize their revenue in the biggest market. What if this becomes the normal state of affairs, trial as a routine continuous activity in all clinical practice. Roche has refused to share its trail data on Tamiflu. Its excessive length and repetitiveness simply dilute the message. Goldacre does a great job of describing all those gldacre parts, even if you’re not too familiar with the health system in the UK or the EU. He phrama out the flaws in the current system and suggests some reasonable changes.

When Pfizer was brought to court, it ran a smear campaign against one of the Nigerian officials to try to make the court case go away.