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Bad Pharma : How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients,9780865478008

Bad Pharma : How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9780865478008

ISBN10:
0865478007
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
2/1/2013
Publisher(s):
Faber & Faber
List Price: $28.00

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Summary

"Smart, funny, clear, unflinching: Ben Goldacre is my hero." Mary Roach, author of Stiff, Spook, and Bonk Medicine is broken. We like to imagine that it's based on evidence and the results of fair tests. In reality, those tests are often profoundly flawed. We like to imagine that doctors are familiar with the research literature surrounding 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 industry. We like to imagine that regulators let only effective drugs onto the market, when in reality they approve hopeless drugs, with data on side effects casually withheld from doctors and patients. All these problems have been protected from public scrutiny because they're too complex to capture in a sound bite. But Dr. 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 on a global scale affects us. In his own words, "the tricks and distortions documented in these pages are beautiful, intricate, and fascinating in their details." With Goldacre's characteristic flair and a forensic attention to detail, Bad Pharmareveals a shockingly broken system and calls for something to be done. This is the pharmaceutical industry as it has never been seen before.

Author Biography

Ben Goldacre is a doctor and writer. His first book Bad Science was an international bestseller, and has been translated into twenty-five languages. He is thirty-eight and lives in London.

Table of Contents

Praise for Bad Science

“Ben Goldacre is exasperated . . . He is irked, vexed, bugged, ticked off at sometimes inadvertent (because of stupidity) but more often deliberate deceptions perpetrated in the name of science . . . You’ll get a good grounding in the importance of evidence-based medicine . . . ‘Studies show’ is not good enough, he writes: ‘The plural of “anecdote” is not data.’” —Katherine Bouton, The New York Times

“One of the best books I’ve ever read. It completely changed the way I saw the world. And I actually mean it.” Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist

“Ben Goldacre lucidly, and irreverently, debunks a frightening amount of pseudoscience, from cosmetics to dietary supplements to alternative medicine. If you want to read one book to become a better-informed consumer and citizen, read Bad Science.” Sandeep Jauhar, author of Intern

“This is a much-needed book. Ben Goldacre shows us—with hysterical wit—how to separate the scam artists from real science. In a world of misinformation, this is a rare gem.” Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

“Ben Goldacre uses a brilliant mix of science and wit to challenge and investigate alternative therapists and the big pharmaceutical corporations. Bad Science is an invaluable tool for anybody who wants to protect themselves from the snake-oil salesmen of the twenty-first century.” Simon Singh, author of Big Bang and Fermat’s Last Theorem

“British physician and journalist Ben Goldacre takes aim at quack doctors, pharmaceutical companies and poorly designed studies in extraordinary fashion in Bad Science . . . Goldacre shines in a chapter about bad scientific studies by writing it from the perspective of a make-believe big pharma researcher who needs to bring a mediocre new drug to market. He explains exactly how to skew the data to show a positive result. ‘I’m so good at this I scare myself,’ he writes. ‘Comes from reading too many rubbish trials.’” Rachel Saslow, The Washington Post

“Funny and biting . . . While it is a very entertaining book, it also provides important insight into the horrifying outcomes that can result when willful anti-intellectualism is allowed equal footing with scientific methodology.” Dennis Rosen, The Boston Globe

“I hereby make the heretical argument that it is time to stop cramming kids’ heads with the Krebs cycle, Ohm’s law, and the myriad other facts that constitute today’s science curricula. Instead, what we need to teach is the ability to detect Bad Science—BS, if you will. The reason we do science in the first place is so that ‘our own atomized experiences and prejudices’ don’t mislead us, as Ben Goldacre of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine puts it in his new book, Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks. Understanding what counts as evidence should therefore trump memorizing the structural formulas for alkanes.” —Sharon Begley, Newsweek.com

“Dr. Ben Goldacre’s UK bestseller Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks is finally in print in the USA, and Americans are lucky to have it. Goldacre writes a terrific Guardian column analyzing (and debunking) popular science reporting, and has been a star in the effort to set the record straight on woowoo ‘nutritionists,’ doctors who claim that AIDS can be cured with vitamns, and vaccination/autism scares. Bad Science is more than just a debunking expose (though it’s that): it’s a toolkit for critical thinking, a primer on statistics and valid study design, a guide to meta-analysis and other tools for uncovering and understanding truth . . . The book should be required reading for everyone who cares about health, science, and public policy.” —BoingBoing.net



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