Ben Goldacre puts the $600bn global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. What he reveals is a fascinating, terrifying mess. ***Now updated with the latest government responses to the book***
Author: Ben Goldacre
Argues that doctors are deliberately misinformed by profit-seeking pharmaceutical companies that casually withhold information about drug efficacy and side effects, explaining the process of pharmaceutical data manipulation and its global consequences. By the best-selling author of Bad Science.
Author: Ben Goldacre
We all feel uncomfortable about the role of profit in healthcare, we all have a vague notion that the global $600bn pharmaceutical industry is somehow evil and untrustworthy, but that sense rarely goes beyond a flaky, undifferentiated new age worldview. Bad Pharma puts real flesh on those bones, revealing the rigged evidence used by drug companies. Bad information means bad treatment decisions, which means patients suffer and die: there is no climactic moment of villainy, but drugs are used which are overpriced, less effective, and have more side effects. There are five cheap, easy things we can do to fix the problem. Bad Pharma takes a big dirty secret out into the open, and will provide a single focus for concerns people have both inside and outside medicine.
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
We like to imagine that medicine is based on evidence and the results of fair testing and clinical trials. In reality, those tests and trials are often profoundly flawed. We like to imagine that doctors who write prescriptions for everything from antidepressants to cancer drugs to heart medication are familiar with the research literature about a drug, when in reality much of the research is hidden from them by drug companies. We like to imagine that doctors are impartially educated, when in reality much of their education is funded by the pharmaceutical industry. We like to imagine that regulators have some code of ethics and let only effective drugs onto the market, when in reality they approve useless drugs, with data on side effects casually withheld from doctors and patients. All these problems have been shielded from public scrutiny because they're too complex to capture in a sound bite. But Ben Goldacre shows that the true scale of this murderous disaster fully reveals itself only when the details are untangled. He believes we should all be able to understand precisely how data manipulation works and how research misconduct in the medical industry affects us on a global scale. With Goldacre's characteristic flair and a forensic attention to detail, Bad Pharma reveals a shockingly broken system and calls for regulation. This is the pharmaceutical industry as it has never been seen before.
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Following the bestselling 'Bad Science', which mercilessly exposed the evils of bogus, pseudo-scientific remedies, Ben Goldacre puts the global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope.
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
The informative and witty expose of the "bad science" we are all subjected to, called "one of the essential reads of the year" by New Scientist. We are obsessed with our health. And yet — from the media's "world-expert microbiologist" with a mail-order Ph.D. in his garden shed laboratory, and via multiple health scares and miracle cures — we are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory, and sometimes even misleading information. Until now. Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the questionable science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases, and missed opportunities of our time, but he also goes further: out of the bullshit, he shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: David Healy
Publisher: Univ of California Press
This searing indictment, David Healy’s most comprehensive and forceful argument against the pharmaceuticalization of medicine, tackles problems in health care that are leading to a growing number of deaths and disabilities. Healy, who was the first to draw attention to the now well-publicized suicide-inducing side effects of many anti-depressants, attributes our current state of affairs to three key factors: product rather than process patents on drugs, the classification of certain drugs as prescription-only, and industry-controlled drug trials. These developments have tied the survival of pharmaceutical companies to the development of blockbuster drugs, so that they must overhype benefits and deny real hazards. Healy further explains why these trends have basically ended the possibility of universal health care in the United States and elsewhere around the world. He concludes with suggestions for reform of our currently corrupted evidence-based medical system.
Author: Dr. John Abramson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Using the examples of Vioxx, Celebrex, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, and anti-depressants, Overdosed America shows that at the heart of the current crisis in American medicine lies the commercialization of medical knowledge itself. Drawing on his background in statistics, epidemiology, and health policy, John Abramson, M.D., reveals the ways in which the drug companies have misrepresented statistical evidence, misled doctors, and compromised our health. The good news is that the best scientific evidence shows that reclaiming responsibility for your own health is often far more effective than taking the latest blockbuster drug. You—and your doctor—will be stunned by this unflinching exposé of American medicine.
The very best journalism from one of Britain's most admired and outspoken science writers, author of the bestselling Bad Science and Bad Pharma. In Bad Science, Ben Goldacre hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science. In Bad Pharma, he put the $600 billion global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. Now the pick of the journalism by one of our wittiiest, most indignant and most fearless commentators on the worlds of medicine and science is collected in one volume.
The medical achievements of the post-war years rank as one of the supreme epochs of human endeavour. Advances in surgical technique, new ideas about the nature of disease and huge innovations in drug manufacture vanquished most common causes of early death, But, since the mid-1970s the rate of development has slowed, and the future of medicine is uncertain. How has this happened? James Le Fanu's hugely acclaimed survey of the 'twelve definitive moments' of modern medicine and the intellectual vacuum which followed them has been fully revised and updated for this edition. "The rise and fall of modern medicine" is both riveting drama and a clarion call for change.
Author: H. Gilbert Welch
Publisher: Beacon Press
From a nationally recognized expert, an exposé of the worst excesses of our zeal for medical testing Going against the conventional wisdom reinforced by the medical establishment and Big Pharma that more screening is the best preventative medicine, Dr. Gilbert Welch builds a compelling counterargument that what we need are fewer, not more, diagnoses. Documenting the excesses of American medical practice that labels far too many of us as sick, Welch examines the social, ethical, and economic ramifications of a health-care system that unnecessarily diagnoses and treats patients, most of whom will not benefit from treatment, might be harmed by it, and would arguably be better off without screening. Drawing on twenty-five years of medical practice and research on the effects of medical testing, Welch explains in a straightforward, jargon-free style how the cutoffs for treating a person with "abnormal" test results have been drastically lowered just when technological advances have allowed us to see more and more "abnormalities," many of which will pose fewer health complications than the procedures that ostensibly cure them. Citing studies that show that 10 percent of two thousand healthy people were found to have had silent strokes, and that well over half of men over age sixty have traces of prostate cancer but no impairment, Welch reveals overdiagnosis to be rampant for numerous conditions and diseases, including diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, gallstones, abdominal aortic aneuryisms, blood clots, as well as skin, prostate, breast, and lung cancers. With genetic and prenatal screening now common, patients are being diagnosed not with disease but with "pre-disease" or for being at "high risk" of developing disease. Revealing the economic and medical forces that contribute to overdiagnosis, Welch makes a reasoned call for change that would save us from countless unneeded surgeries, excessive worry, and exorbitant costs, all while maintaining a balanced view of both the potential benefits and harms of diagnosis. Drawing on data, clinical studies, and anecdotes from his own practice, Welch builds a solid, accessible case against the belief that more screening always improves health care.
Author: Imogen Evans, Hazel Thornton, Iain Chalmers, Paul Glasziou
Publisher: Pinter & Martin Publishers
This work provides a thought-provoking account of how medical treatments can be tested with unbiased or 'fair' trials and explains how patients can work with doctors to achieve this vital goal. It spans the gamut of therapy from mastectomy to thalidomide and explores a vast range of case studies.
Author: Richard J. Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
"Morphine," writes Richard J. Miller, "is the most significant chemical substance mankind has ever encountered." So ancient that remains of poppies have been found in Neolithic tombs, it is the most effective drug ever discovered for treating pain. "Whatever advances are made in medicine," Miller adds, "nothing could really be more important than that." And yet, when it comes to mind-altering substances, morphine is only a cc or two in a vast river that flows through human civilization, ranging LSD to a morning cup of tea. In DRUGGED, Miller takes readers on an eye-opening tour of psychotropic drugs, describing the various kinds, how they were discovered and developed, and how they have played multiple roles in virtually every culture. The vast scope of chemicals that cross the blood-brain barrier boggle the very brain they reach: cannabis and cocaine, antipsychotics and antidepressants, alcohol, amphetamines, and Ecstasy-and much more. Literate and wide-ranging, Miller weaves together science and history, telling the story of the undercover theft of 20,000 tea plants from China by a British spy, for example, the European discovery of coffee and chocolate, and how James Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous man of letters, first isolated the alkaloid we now know as caffeine. Miller explains what scientists know-and don't-about the impact of each drug on the brain, down to the details of neurotransmitters and their receptors. He clarifies the differences between morphine and heroin, mescaline and LSD, and other similar substances. Drugged brims with surprises, revealing the fact that antidepressant drugs evolved from the rocket fuel that shot V2 rockets into London during World War II, highlighting the role of hallucinogens in the history of religion, and asking whether Prozac can help depressed cats. Entertaining and authoritative, Drugged is a truly fascinating book.
Ending Medical Reversal
Author: Vinayak K. Prasad, Adam S. Cifu
Publisher: JHU Press
We expect medicine to progress in an orderly fashion, with good medical practices being replaced by better ones. But some tests and therapies are discontinued because they are found to be worse, or at least no better, than what they replaced. Medications like Vioxx and procedures such as vertebroplasty for back pain caused by compression fractures are among the medical "advances" that turned out to be dangerous or useless. What Dr. Vinayak K. Prasad and Dr. Adam S. Cifu call medical reversal happens when doctors start using a medication, procedure, or diagnostic tool without a robust evidence base—and then stop using it when it is found not to help, or even to harm, patients. Drs. Prasad and Cifu narrate fascinating stories from every corner of medicine to explore why medical reversals occur, how they are harmful, and what can be done to avoid them. They explore the difference between medical innovations that improve care and those that only appear to be promising. They also outline a comprehensive plan to reform medical education, research funding and protocols, and the process for approving new drugs that will ensure that more of what gets done in doctors’ offices and hospitals is truly effective.
The Patient Paradox
Author: Margaret McCartney
Publisher: Pinter & Martin Publishers
Welcome to the world of sexed-up medicine, where patients have been turned into customers, and clinics and waiting rooms are jammed with healthy people, lured in to have their blood pressure taken and cholesterol, smear test, bowel or breast screening done. In the world of sexed-up medicine pharmaceutical companies gloss over research they don’t like and charities often use dubious science and dodgy PR to 'raise awareness' of their disease, leaving a legacy of misinformation in their wake. Our obsession with screening swallows up the time of NHS staff and the money of healthy people who pay thousands to private companies for tests they don’t need. Meanwhile, the truly sick are left to wrestle with disjointed services and confusing options. Explaining the truth behind the screening statistics and investigating the evidence behind the hype, Margaret McCartney, an award-winning writer and doctor, argues that this patient paradox – too much testing of well people and not enough care for the sick – worsens health inequalities and drains professionalism, harming both those who need treatment and those who don't.