Reviews for Bad Pharma : How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients

Library Journal Reviews 2013 June #1

Goldacre (Bad Science) here turns his attention to medical research and the pharmaceutical industry. He explains that negative or no-result studies of drugs are less likely to be published anywhere in the professional literature than positive ones. The author further explains that medical professionals are manipulated by planted articles, drug vendors, and the selective use of statistics. All true, if not exactly new ideas. Unfortunately, despite his claims of nonbias, Goldacre supports his opinions with interesting anecdotes and carefully selected metadata studies. This fact-filled book is scientifically no better than the studies it critiques. The audiobook, competently read by Jonathan Cowley, has its own problems. It comes with so-called bonus materials--PDF files of graphs. In several places, people are expected to go to their computer and look at figures while listening to the text, not easy for those who listen while driving, exercising, etc. VERDICT While not an impartial exposť, this is an enjoyable and informative book, best read in print form. Recommended for individuals interested in medical issues who are good at mental data manipulations. ["Goldacre's recommendations for much larger, simpler trials and for more access to clinical trial data, as well as educating people about risk assessment, clinical trial design, and statistical literacy, make this much more than a condemnation of the pharmaceutical industry," read the review of the Faber & Faber hc, LJ Xpress Reviews, 3/22/13.--Ed.]--I Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll., Ames, IA

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #5

In his latest, British physician and author Goldacre tackles the misdeeds of the pharmaceutical industry. As Goldacre presents a laundry list of flawed research projects, narrator Jonathan Cowley handles the author's academic style with ease, never missing a beat. His precise annunciation matches the seriousness of the issues at hand, and he successfully balances the shifting tones of the narrative. Yet, as Goldacre recounts his adventures uncovering greed and corruption, Cowley ably takes on the author's populist persona. Cowley especially entertains in sections devoted to industry schmoozing and networking, providing doses of humor to help bring home the author's underlying messages. And if technical and scientific sections of the book make for a sometimes-demanding listening experience, Cowley's winning reading helps broaden the appeal. A Faber & Faber hardcover. (Feb.)

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