We’d like to imagine that medicine is based on science and evidence, but in reality clinical tests are deeply flawed. Medicine is a business, controlled by big drug companies. In an op-ed, Ben Goldacre, a physician who created badscience.net after being frustrated by the proliferation of pseudoscience in the media, writes that half of all the clinical trials on the treatments in use today have never been published in academic journals, and trials with positive or flattering results are about twice as likely to be published. Goldacre is the author of Bad Pharma, a new exposé of the pharmaceutical industry.
How bad are the pharmaceutical companies, and how are they misleading doctors and harming patients? Read the transcript below of our live chat as Dr. Goldacre shows us the flaws in our drug-prescription system.
To continue the conversation and learn about other author chats in this series (including with Francis Fukuyama, Jonathan Gruber, Michael Sandel, David Rothkopf, and others), visit the Discourse in Progress community on Facebook, an interactive forum on timely issues sponsored by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and The Daily Beast.