Bad Pharma'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.
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Bad Pharma € 14.99
In the Guardian staat een uitstekende recensie van dit boek:
Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre – review
Luisa Dillner praises a calmly outraged investigation into the drugs industry
If you were shocked by the MPs expenses scandal, try this one: in America, a popular media doctor, Drew Pinsky, goes on air to praise the antidepressant Wellbutrin. What's so great about it? Whereas other antidepressants lower libido, this drug "may enhance" sexual arousal. What his loyal listeners don't know is that Pinsky has been paid $275,000 by GlaxoSmithKline "for services to Wellbutrin".
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 nine-year investigation led to a $3bn fine. (Other pharmaceutical companies have been fined for similar misdemeanours.) This example doesn't make it into Ben Goldacre's Bad Pharma, his calmly outraged account of how the $600bn drug industry, doctors, academics, regulators and medical journals have let patients down. But it is by no means extraordinary.
Goldacre's previous book Bad Science is an easier read, since exposing charlatans can, at times, be played for laughs. Bad Pharma is altogether more sombre and grim – a thorough piece of investigative medical journalism. What keeps you turning its pages is the accessibility of Goldacre's writing (only slightly flabby in places), his genuine, indignant passion, his careful gathering of evidence and his use of stories, some of them personal, which bring the book to life.
His tales of drug companies buying the opinion of doctors is not the most alarming of his revelations. Goldacre sets out clearly what is wrong with the way drugs get on to the market. New drugs are tested by the companies that make them, often in trials designed to make the drug look good, which are then written up and published in medical journals. Unless, that is, the company doesn't like the result of the trial (maybe it shows the drug not working or having severe side-effects), in which case this result might be hidden. Regulators should have all the data on a drug's effects but they often don't share it, so researchers can't study the data. Read more>>>>>>>
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