One thing in Bad Pharma has shocked readers more than anything else: the way that vitally important information about trials is withheld from doctors and patients, not just by drug companies, but also by government bodies such NICE and the European Medicines Agency (the body that approves and regulates medicines for the UK).
Great article in Trials, on why regulators should stop withholding trial info from doctors and patients
I did a new talk at TED about drug companies hiding the results of clinical trials, it went up today. This is a huge, ongoing problem, and it results in patients suffering and dying unnecessarily. So I’m really pleased that TED were able to give the story a platform. Video after the click: Read the rest of this entry »
My new book Bad Pharma is out today. It describes how drug companies harm patients, around the world, by distorting evidence on an industrial scale. More than that, it shows how doctors, academics, and regulators have all failed to fix these problems. Bad practices have been perpetuated, because the public have not understood the true scale of the disaster. If this book is not ignored, it will make certain current public positions from industry, and from regulators, untenable. That will be the beginning of fixing the problem, and for the rest, I need your help.
But first, with kind permission of the publishers, here’s the introduction. I hope you like it.
James Ball sent me the data for the Russian election vote counts this morning and asked me to test whether it deviates from Benford’s law, a test that can give a hint at whether numbers are the product of fraud. Posted below is my analysis, and also a check for last digit preference, which is another method for spotting sneakiness. Read the rest of this entry »
Hi all, just to say, I’m doing a talk in the Free University of Glastonbury, 1:30pm (or thereabouts) on Saturday. Free University is the literarature tent in The Park field, based inside HMS Sweet Charity, which sounds like it’s probably a big silly boat.
I’m also talking at Secret Garden Party (speakers tent, no idea what day, but my friend Mark Pilkington is there too) and Latitude (on Sunday). If you’re choosing, SGP is madness with fun bands you’ve not heard of, Latitude is families with indie schmindie you have, and both are lovely.
Lots of other good people in the same tent at Glasto: Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday 11 June 2011
We all know one atom of experience isn’t enough to spot a pattern: but when you put lots of experiences together and process that data, you get new knowledge. This might sound obvious, but following it through – watching patterns emerge from the noise – still gives me a sense of beauty and awe. Read the rest of this entry »
Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 23 April 2011
Last year a mainstream psychology researcher called Daryl Bem published a competent academic paper, in a well respected journal, showing evidence of precognition. Instead of designing new studies to see whether people could consciously tell you about the future, he ran some classic psychology experiments backwards.
Read the rest of this entry »