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

AudioFile Reviews 2013 June
Listeners to this audiobook will likely feel betrayed by pharmaceutical companies--who manipulate test results so only favorable tests are made public--and by government regulators--who rubber-stamp these specious findings and fail to properly monitor or investigate. The result is that consumers and doctors are misled. For example, the author, a physician, describes how he has prescribed medicines, unaware of the shoddy testing of them as well as their undisclosed side effects and contraindications. Although the book's content is absorbing, some of the material--particularly the statistical information--may not be ideal for the audiobook format. The author is a popular lecturer and Internet blogger, and narrator Jonathan Cowley channels his emphatic tone and English accent. (Cowley also narrated Goldacre's previous book.) The high-density onslaught of information will prove convincing for some while others may find the insistent tone fatiguing. R.W.S. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

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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