Welcome to the world where medicine is not what we believe it is. Scary as it sounds, “Bad Pharma” paints a candid picture of western medicines working relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. While “Bad Pharma” is not the fastest and most exciting book to read. I highly suggest it for anyone in the field of medicine, or in a field where pharmaceuticals are present. If you a parent with a child diagnosed with ADHD or a physio/trainer working with clients, “Bad Pharma” will give you a real picture of a grim world.
Ben Goldacre was a physician in Britain turned investigative journalist and speaker after giving a patient a specific medication that technically cheated the system. From there “Bad Pharma” will go down some deep rabbit holes discussing the ethics of conventional medicines, prestigious peer-reviewed journals, and medical universities turning a blind eye or even changing laws to benefit their bottom line.
With the increase of popularity of functional medicine and other alternative approaches, “Bad Pharma” gives validity to having an open mind. What once was considered hard science is now no longer able to be blindly trusted.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics officially supports breastfeeding, but receives about half a million dollars from Ross, manufacturers of Similac infant formula”.
“Some have estimated that the pharmaceutical industry overall spends about twice as much on marketing and promotion as it does on research and development”.
“The story of the serotonin hypothesis for depression, and its enthusiastic promotion by drug companies, is part of a wider process that has been called ‘disease-mongering’ or ‘medicalization’, where diagnostic categories are widened, whole new diagnoses are invented, and normal variants of human experience are pathologized, so they can be treated with pills. One simple illustration of this is the recent spread of ‘checklists’ enabling the public to diagnose, or help diagnose, various medical conditions. In 2010, for example, the popular website WebMD launched a new test: ‘Rate your risk for depression: could you be depressed?’ It was funded by Eli Lilly, manufacturers of the antidepressant duloxetine, and this was duly declared on the page, though that doesn’t reduce the absurdity of what followed. The test consisted of ten questions, such as: ‘I feel sad or down most of the time’; ‘I feel tired almost every day’; ‘I have trouble concentrating’; ‘I feel worthless or hopeless’; ‘I find myself thinking a lot about dying’; and so on. If you answered ‘no’ to every single one of these questions – every single one – and then pressed ‘Submit’, the response was clear: ‘You may be at risk for major depression”.