After years of dismissing the value of complimentary health and the science behind this and natural or pharmaceutical grade supplements Ben Goldacre, columnist from the Guardian appears to have had a bit of a think. Mr Goldacre has written a book called “Bad Pharma”. This book exposes the tricks and bad science that some pharmaceutical companies get up to to gain big profits. Some of the evidence he has flagged up was stated in Patrick Holford and Jerome Burnes book. “Better medicine than drugs” One of the authors of which he has put in his category of “Woo” merchants cynically flogging worthless complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments.
In the introduction to his new book Goldacre says: “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 which are flawed by design, in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments.” He then goes into detail to explain that when trials produce results the industry doesn’t like, they suppress this data, distort evidence and make it near-impossible for people to properly evaluate their claims ( Quoted from the Guardian review). Articles relating to trials sponsored by drug companies are published in academic journals that are ghost-written by industry insiders. The guardian reviewed the book and state “:It’s more than just an attack on the pharmaceutical industry, but on the whole process by which scientific experimentation in medicine is reported and evaluated.” In the words of Jerome Burne. Welcome to the club Ben.