How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients
Last February 18th, 2013, at Town Hall Seattle, Dr. Ben Goldacre talked about his book, Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients, in which he discusses the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on the global healthcare system and argues that pharmaceutical companies hide negative studies and use questionable testing and intensive lobbying to get what they want, regardless of whether the drugs they produce are good for patients. Watch the video (1 hour, 26 minutes) .
How Drug Companies mislead Doctors and harm Patients
When a new drug gets tested, the results of the trials should be published for the rest of the medical world — except much of the time, negative or inconclusive findings go unreported, leaving doctors and researchers in the dark. In this impassioned talk, Ben Goldacre explains why these unreported instances of negative data are especially misleading and dangerous.
The video, shot during the debate at the Royal Institution last month, shows the author of Bad Science and Bad Pharma debate the notion ‘Pharma is not getting its act together’ with the chief executive of the ABPI.
Ben Goldacre puts the $600bn global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope
How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients
From amazon.co.uk : ” Ben Goldacre puts the $600bn global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. What he reveals is a fascinating, terrifying mess.
Doctors and patients need good scientific evidence to make informed decisions. But instead, companies run bad trials on their own drugs, which distort and exaggerate the benefits by design. When these trials produce unflattering results, the data is simply buried. All of this is perfectly legal. In fact, even government regulators withhold vitally important data from the people who need it most. Doctors and patient groups have stood by too, and failed to protect us. Instead, they take money and favours, in a world so fractured that medics and nurses are now educated by the drugs industry. Patients are harmed in huge numbers.
Ben Goldacre is Britain’s finest writer on the science behind medicine, and ‘Bad Pharma’ is a clear and witty attack, showing exactly how the science has been distorted, how our systems have been broken, and how easy it would be to fix them. ”
” In medicine, we need to see all the results, positive and negative, to get a clear understanding of the overall risks and benefits of a treatment. If we only see the positive results, with the less flattering results withheld, then we get an exaggerated picture of the benefits. This can lead to bad treatment decisions. We can be misled into thinking an ineffective treatment is actually effective, meaning a patient is exposed to side effects unnecessarily, or deprived of another effective treatment that they would have had instead. We can be misled into thinking it’s worth enduring side effects for a large benefit, when in reality the benefits are only modest “.
Doctors end up prescribing useless (or harmful) medicines
” Writing in the Guardian, Ben Goldacre reveals the shocking truth about the drugs that doctors prescribe: thanks to aggressive manipulation from the pharmaceutical companies and passivity from regulators, doctors often don’t know that the drugs were ineffective (or harmful) in a majority of their clinical trials. ”
“This month, Johnson & Johnson is facing more than 10,000 lawsuits over an artificial hip that has been recalled because of a 40 percent failure rate within five years. Mistakes happen in medicine, but internal documents showed that executives had known of flaws with the device for some time, but had failed to make them public“