Monday, October 28, 2013

Investigations: MD's Book Says Pharma Suppresses Unflattering Drug Studies

Just saw this interesting Ted report on a book by UK MD Ben Goldacre's book Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients.

Goldacre talks about how pharmaceutical companies conceal unflattering studies that show their drugs are ineffective. He said he was himself duped into prescribing medicine he says was ineffective to a patient after reading about positive research.

Later, he learned the "positive" results were from only a single study, while other studies were less flattering or had gone unpublished altogether.

The Ted item raises questions about evidence for five common medicines.

"Drugs are tested by the people who manufacture them, in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of weird, unrepresentative patients, and analysed using techniques that are flawed by design, in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments," Goldacre writes in his book.

"We only ever see a distorted picture of any drug's true effects."

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