Favourite Science Book : 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 10)
A book I have read and has become of my favourite science books is Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre. It is a nonfiction book which has been translated into 25 languages.
Although this is not a book to necessarily enjoy, it's to be read and receive the message that Goldacre intends to pass onto the reader. The book has a solemn tone but Goldacre is also able to maintain a good, conversational tone and keep the reader interested and intrigued to read more.
Goldacre also gives all references to everything he states in Bad Pharma so the reader knows where each piece of information he quotes came from. Therefore the book and all it contains comes across as very reliable.
Bad Pharma is extremely detailed and gives a fascinating insight into the pharmaceutical industry. It's simple and easy to read, especially if you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry, and does not require any previous study of science or medicine in general.
Goldacre does not make the book feel like it contains any "conspiracy theories". He also explains the different issues in the pharmaceutical industry, in detail and also giving references (particularly the systematic reviews, which is important knowing the subject matter of the book ). The aim of Bad Pharma is to not delve into politics, but to concentrate on real problems of the "drug companies and how they mislead doctors & harm patients".
Although the book portrays the giant size of the problems Goldacre is detailing, he makes sure the book does not leave the reader feeling depressed. Goldacre is not "anti-pharma" and he has considered very carefully how things could actually be changed in practice, in the future.
Bad Pharma is definitely a great book and a rewarding read. Even if you're not a healthcare professional, you may be able to contribute to solving these problems by raising awareness.
If the book could be summarised into a 15 word review it would be this quote, by Dara O Brian:
"Terrifying & true. You may never look at your medicine cabinet the same way again."