Big bad pharma
- By: Jonathan Batty
Every time a patient takes a tablet, this represents an implicit act of trust in the doctor who prescribed it. How can the doctor weigh up the benefits and harms to the patient without robust evidence that the drug works, and knowledge of its side effects? According to Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science, and, latest work, Bad Pharma, the frightening truth is that doctors often make prescribing decisions without all the evidence to hand. Indeed, a doctor might be making decisions in accordance with the best evidence based practice guidelines, and still cause patients harm.
Bad Pharma is a 400 page declaration of war on the questionable practices of the $600bn behemoth that is big pharma, the drug industry. Goldacre argues that because of factors such as publication bias, ghost writing, flawed trial design, and lack of impartial regulation—all manipulated by the drug industry—ineffective and potentially dangerous drugs have