I finally finished reading Dr Ben Goldacre’s excellent Bad Pharma and what a tale it tells. The premiss of the work is that the doctor who treats you, no matter how rich or poor you are doesn’t know all the data regarding the drugs that he or she is prescribing you. That’s scary, or at least I find it scary. I think I would like to know if drug A has a higher probability of harming or killing me than drug B. Although there is a supporting cast in what has happened to medicine over the recent decades the main culprits are the large pharmaceutical companies and the selective publishing of data in regards to drug trials. Ben and others have set up Alltrials.net , http://www.alltrials.net a campaign to bring all that missing data into the public domain. This is sensible for all of us. So please read and if you feel motivated then sign the petition.
I’m now half way through the excellent Bad Pharma written by Ben Goldacre. A look at the dastardly corporations, institutions, regulators and people that leave doctors as much as patients in the dark about how good certain drugs are. Everyone remembers the terrible effects of thalidomide but does anybody remember about or know the name of the heart drug that instead of helping people probably killed 100,000. This book should be compulsive reading for GPs and anybody who ever has to take any medicine. Ben writes about how medicine and science should work and shows how it doesn’t. Buy it, be horrified and then ask questions. Pharmaceutical