Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm


  • Kindle Edition
  • 350 pages
  • Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients
  • Ben Goldacre
  • English
  • 14 June 2018

10 thoughts on “Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients

  1. knig knig says:

    Stop Press this should be compulsory reading for anyone with a pulse, really I can t think of a single person who should be excused from the reading rota here This is the MOST appalling, horrific, mind numbing expose on the current state of medicine I had never hoped to see, or know, or be a part of Ever.You ever go to the doctor You a doctor No Maybe you expect the doctor, as the specialist, to be able to diagnose and treat you accordingly I know I do I go in with my ailments and I lik Stop Press this should be compulsory reading for anyone with a pulse, really I can t think of a single person who should be excused from the reading rota here This is the MOST appalling, horrific, mind numbing expose on the current state of medicine I had never hoped to see, or know, or be a part of Ever.You ever go to the doctor You a doctor No Maybe you expect the doctor, as the specialist, to be able to diagnose and treat you accordingly I know I do I go in with my ailments and I like to come out with prescriptions, even better, prescriptions that work But what exactly is going on behind the scenes And how do I even begin Your doctor has no accurate knowledge AT ALL of any drugs coming into the market, especially any that come on after he s left medical school You might as well prescribe your own medicines you might even have a better success rate, based on probability theory The reasons he has no real accurate knowledge are many, but here are the best drug companies, when applying for a patent, or submitting articles to a medical journal, have to perform medical trials in order to ascertain the efficacy of the drugs However, they are not required to submit the results of ALL the trials they undertake Basically, a pharma company can submit ANY result it chooses So, if 7 out of 10 trials show adverse effects, one shows neutral and two show a slight positive effect how these anomalies happen is another matter, but by manipulating the type of trial patients you get anomalies in readings , the drug company then submits only the two rigged positives, and hey presto, we re in business What are the regulators doing in all of this Nothing, they are on the side of the pharmacological industry More on that later A new product is licensed So, how good is it Well, no one knows because, you see, drugs are not tested against best in breed, but against placebo, or, in other words, the litmus test is is this drug better than nothing at all So fine, it might be better than nothing at all, but how does it compare against other drugs on the market for the same condition No one knows It might actually be worse than every other drug on the market, but no one, not even the doctors know It might not even be better than nothing at all, even be killing people, literally, but no one knows because trial data is withheld legitimately Remember the seven adverse trials that were swept under the carpet has this happened before Sure, Goldacre gives several examples Paroxetine prescribed off label for children, and antiarithmic drugs amongst others So what exactly does the doctor know Whatever the pharma company reps decide to tell him Its as simple as that How accurate are the reps Well, I feel physically sick just thinking about it The chapter is very explicit Not very.Where are the regulators in all of this Secretive and collusive Various reasons are proffered for this the regulators themselves quote the MMR debacle and how the public can t be trusted with the information unfortunately this seems to include doctors as well Goldacre speaks of regulation capture , or the Stockholm syndrome as the rest of us may know it Honestly I can go on forever, but the bottom line is this I m just surprised we re not all dead, really I might have to re write this review later, I m jibbering just now, but first I may want to join an action group Or something


  2. Scott Scott says:

    Currently reading this but not so sure how muchI can take There is some decent information here The title is absolutely true Drug companies are businesses and multibillion dollar corporations are not ethical paragons They do not publish studies that make their drug look bad or even as good as There are sponsored journals that are sponsor biased Sometimes legit journals want the most interesting this changes everything articles rather than another dog bites man article to boost Currently reading this but not so sure how muchI can take There is some decent information here The title is absolutely true Drug companies are businesses and multibillion dollar corporations are not ethical paragons They do not publish studies that make their drug look bad or even as good as There are sponsored journals that are sponsor biased Sometimes legit journals want the most interesting this changes everything articles rather than another dog bites man article to boost readership That s the media The problem with this book is that it is a combination of fact, hyperbole, and omission, not unlike the drug companies themselves Every other page is HOW MANY PEOPLE COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED or if this makes you as angry as it does me and I m sure it does, my buddy he says that in some manner several times a chapter that it becomes irritating, pandering, and insulting to any self respecting critical thinker Why such overuse of superlatives when simply presenting and explaining the data should be convincing enough The omissions are that most if not all physicians heavily distrust any pharmaceutical sponsored or presented paper Research that is used as evidence based treatment is peer reviewed by other researchers and physicians and statisticians for any possible flaws or oversights in conclusions There are few things physicians enjoythan disproving other physicians when it comes to the Truth, as far as science and data are concerned It s practically the second commandment Most docs are well versed and tested in statistics They look at sample size 1000s of people in your study is better than you and grandma , sample location cultural lifestyles are not alike , as well as outside interests or sponsorships and the number crunching itself From this book, it would seem that ONLY drug companies publish research on drugs because it is PROFITABLE otherwise why do research Any self respecting researcher or physician can answer that question because we want to find the BEST treatment for a patient regardless of which drug company it hurts FUCK the drug companies and all the stat fudgers and quacks.It s far from a perfect system There are always charlatans and opportunists when money is involved The system does indeed need to change, I just wonder if it can with so many hands in the pot But for this author to give the constant impression that EVERY drug is a scam, EVERY paper out there is bought and paid for, is disingenuous at best, and the exact charlatanry the author purports to expose at worst, and he s making quite the profit himself I honestly want to like this bookI want the facts sifted from the subjective miasma in its pages, so I can tell my patients the facts and not just read Ben Goldacre s book By the way, I have no outside sponsorships to any pharmaceutical companies but I do appreciate the fact that stores like Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Walmart and others have 4 drug lists to help my patients afford their pills sometimes


  3. Becky Becky says:

    I read Goldacre s book Bad Science very recently, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to not go for my usual buffer period between very similar books and just jump right into Bad Pharma And they are very similar books, though this one is actually longer, for all that it isspecialized in one area of badness There was a lot of overlap between the two, which is to be expected, I guess, because Goldacre IS a doctor, and lives in this world I didn t really mind the rehash though, because I read Goldacre s book Bad Science very recently, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to not go for my usual buffer period between very similar books and just jump right into Bad Pharma And they are very similar books, though this one is actually longer, for all that it isspecialized in one area of badness There was a lot of overlap between the two, which is to be expected, I guess, because Goldacre IS a doctor, and lives in this world I didn t really mind the rehash though, because it gave me a second chance to think about it and absorb the info I listened to both of these books on audio, and this almost felt like a continuation of the first book, especially because the reader was the same for both One thing that I did appreciate was, during his section on bad trials, he mentioned outright fraud, one area where I felt was overlooked in Bad Science It s a brief mention, but it is its own section, as it should be Because fraud is everywhere, and even in peer reviewed science, and systematically reviewed science, it still happens I also liked how this book got into some of the non science badness of the pharmacological industry advertising and politics and bribery and ultimatums and the like What I was surprised about though, was that all of this affected the UK, which I stupidly, I guess thought wouldn t have that issue because of their National Health Service We don t have government run healthcare here in the US and no, the Affordable Care Act doesn t count and there s so much bullshit surrounding this industry that it boggles the mind I m still waiting on those Death Panels though I have a few suggestions for useless people who could go on the list Anyway, I m not trying to go into a political ramblerant here because I am the first one to admit that I don t know nearly enough about it I just brought that up because I thought that America, with its allowing advertising and its lack of enforced regulations would be the exception, but it seems like this shit goes on all over Which makes me feel better No Not really There go my plans of moving to Europe if I get sick Or if certain other nightmare events come to pass next year So I can t say that this is a very light hearted set of books, but I think that they are absolutely worth reading I like that Goldacre provides some ways that things could be improved, though it seems very unlikely that any of his recommendations would actually be put into place, because then that would mean that some people would lose a whole lot of money, and that s just not how this shit works Disappointing, but hey what isn t these days


  4. Andy Andy says:

    I appreciate how Ben Goldacre is trying to open the eyes of the people to many of the issues relating to science reporting I check his blog every now and then, but this is the first time I ve read his books As background, I m a GP in NZ, British by birth and training, closer to the start of my career than the end and I don t see drug reps or attend drug sponsored CME consciously at least sometimes it can be difficult to tell I m also fairly clued up on the issues he presents here so in som I appreciate how Ben Goldacre is trying to open the eyes of the people to many of the issues relating to science reporting I check his blog every now and then, but this is the first time I ve read his books As background, I m a GP in NZ, British by birth and training, closer to the start of my career than the end and I don t see drug reps or attend drug sponsored CME consciously at least sometimes it can be difficult to tell I m also fairly clued up on the issues he presents here so in someways it was preaching to the converted He makes many good points and exposes the day to day manipulative and deceitful practices of the drug companies and particularly highlights just how hard it is to be a doctor and make truly informed decisions Something that worries myself and most of my colleagues on a day to day basis am I doing the right thing I would imagine this book could be quite worrying for the general population and the medicated For anyone who takes a medicine, this should be required reading.His style though, after a while, becomes a little much His passion runs through and starts to take over which distracts from his intent I felt the early chapters werestraightforward in laying out the facts andcrucially why these facts are important The later chapters felt like he was just labouring the point and I found my attention starting to wane Still, despite these issues it s still a worthwhile read.I think every med nursing pharmacy name your healthcare specialty student should read this during the early stages of their training, firstly to open their eyes, to see what they re going to be up against, but also to promote a fight for change, as Ben so admirably and clearly sets out An important book, if nothing else it should open your eyes and set you on the path to learn .Oh, as an aside, the book is lovingly designed like a pill packet, Braille and everything Annoyingly though the title on the spine is upside down, in the French manner Now, I know I can and indeed have turned the book upside down to make it fit in, and sure, no one else is going to know unless they pull it off the shelves to look, but I will know Every time I see it I ll know That bugs me That probably says a lot about me as well


  5. Paul Paul says:

    Goldacre has a way of making complex science subjects accessible to the wider public His first book, Bad Science, highlighted the way that the media dealt with reporting science, and in this book he concentrates his ire onto the 600 billion global pharmacy industry, now dominated by a handful of behemoths.And what he reveals is frankly terrifying He details the way that the industry hides a large majority of the trial data, the way that the legislation requiring data to be published is ignore Goldacre has a way of making complex science subjects accessible to the wider public His first book, Bad Science, highlighted the way that the media dealt with reporting science, and in this book he concentrates his ire onto the 600 billion global pharmacy industry, now dominated by a handful of behemoths.And what he reveals is frankly terrifying He details the way that the industry hides a large majority of the trial data, the way that the legislation requiring data to be published is ignored by companies, and in the EU it is still secret in some cases There is loads of detail on the way that the data is cherry picked to demonstrate that a particular drug is so much better than the competition There is lots of detail on the appalling way that the industry is regulated, even though it is very heavily regulated, most of it is ineffective and not enforced, and where the regulation could be improved to help patients and save lives these are not enforced or are not enacted on after lobbying from the industry.The biggest chapter though is on the marketing that these companies employ Their budgets for marketing are normally twice the RD budgets, which gives you some idea of where their priorities lie He explains how they sponsor various conferences and provided sweeteners to medical professionals at all levels, from lunches to flights to what most people would consider bribes The nefarious dealings of the drugs rep are dealt with too, from the pressure that they put onto doctors to use their medicines and the way that they collect data directly from surgeries and pharmacies A lot of academic papers are ghost written, and a leading figure puts their name to it, shocking really.There is some details on NICE, but not a huge amount He looks at the way that they select the drugs for use in treatment, noting that even they do not have access to all the trail data for each medicine that they consider.He also writes about how a lot of the drug companies fund patient groups either overtly with cash donations or covertly by funding particular conferences and so on They have been proven to use them to exert pressure on national agencies FDA and NICE to supply the latest drugs regardless of the cost i.e 50K spent with a group means that they get their 21k per patient drug treatment approved, even though the trial evidence is not there or is at best not proven to be anyeffective than the current items on the market A real scandal.Throughout the book he does give suggestions on how the situation can be improved but he does realise that they is an endemic problem and powerful vested interests do hold sway Even just enforcing the current rules would make a difference, but it seems unlikely at the moment.The phrase for illegal drugs used to be Just Say No Perhaps it should apply to legal drugs too


  6. Kaelan Ratcliffe▪Κάϊλαν Ράτκλιφ▪كايِلان راتكِليف Kaelan Ratcliffe▪Κάϊλαν Ράτκλιφ▪كايِلان راتكِليف says:

    This Affects You I m glad I stopped and read the short no less impactful essay The Corporation by Joel Bakan midway through this book, it definitely helped in coping with the subject I feel like Ben Goldacre has simply stumbled across aspecific problem in a larger mess our world faces today What the reader will have introduced to themselves during the 400 pages of Bad Pharma, is a consistently horrifying expose of the corruption and bad practices that have taken place in a deregula This Affects You I m glad I stopped and read the short no less impactful essay The Corporation by Joel Bakan midway through this book, it definitely helped in coping with the subject I feel like Ben Goldacre has simply stumbled across aspecific problem in a larger mess our world faces today What the reader will have introduced to themselves during the 400 pages of Bad Pharma, is a consistently horrifying expose of the corruption and bad practices that have taken place in a deregulated environment, fostered by corporations within the pharmaceutical industry over the last few decades Goldacre writes in laymen terms, which I appreciated as someone who knows next to nothing about the industry, and provides plenty of background information to keep you in the know So there really is NO excuse not to read this especially if you re from the USA and the UK as it directly affects you and your loved ones The bottom line really is the issue that Bakan raises in the above mentioned Corporation in that there are certain areas of public life the simply SHOULN T be monetarily driven It s a big problem, and anyone with half a brain cell should know how corporations are practically infesting the political public landscape of the USA especially since Trumps Kleptocracy has come to power , so it s no surprise what s been seen here in Bad Pharma People are seen as consumers and commodities, and therefore are in service to profit.My only criticism is how Goldcare seems to still believe in the system, and despite making such a heroic book, makes no mention of how certain governments utterly support these companies in getting away with it He even goes as far as to mention at time how he doesn t want to get too politicalPerhaps I m an old nihilist I m really in my mid twenties, I swear , but I don t believe corporations, who s incentive is profit, will change unless they re reigned in by government Despite this, he s brought real change with the book, and the final section regarding what came after it was released this is a fourth edition copy I read brings some glimmer of hope.Maybe you ll decide for yourself Either way, read this


  7. Bastian Greshake Tzovaras Bastian Greshake Tzovaras says:

    Okay, somehow Goodreads didn t save the last review I tried to write So I ll try again If I only had read this book a day earlier I could have flagged it as the most depressing read of 2012 It made me cry out loud and swear a lot just ask my girlfriend who had to listen to it for the most time Bad Pharma gives a great overview on how medicine is failing patients aka each of us all the time Publication bias, missing access to raw data and all the other nuisances which might be familiar t Okay, somehow Goodreads didn t save the last review I tried to write So I ll try again If I only had read this book a day earlier I could have flagged it as the most depressing read of 2012 It made me cry out loud and swear a lot just ask my girlfriend who had to listen to it for the most time Bad Pharma gives a great overview on how medicine is failing patients aka each of us all the time Publication bias, missing access to raw data and all the other nuisances which might be familiar to you from other fields of science also apply to medicine The only catch being In medicine this lack of knowledge, often facilitated by lacking access to data, is killing people, virtually every day We don t know how drugs compare to each other, serious side effects are not as well known as they should be, organisations which approve drugs feel it s their job to protect pharmaceutical companies and MDs get most if not all of their post graduation training delivered from drug companies Are you already feeling depressed Goldacre does a great job of describing all those broken parts, even if you re not too familiar with the health system in the UK or the EU And he makes clear It s not that our medicine is controlled by mind bending lizard alien conspiracies but that it s simply an effect of a system full of idiosyncrasies and normal people, with all their failures His british humour often saves you fromserious depressions and he helpfully gives lots of ideas how the system could be fixed


  8. Kevin Kevin says:

    The flesh and bones of Big Pharma s R D and marketing The Good While there may be some unsettling notions of Big Pharma, such feelings can easily be diverted to anti vax and other media sensationalism given the liberal black hole in critical analysis of political economy Unlike his previous books that deal with broader topics like media manipulation Bad Science Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks, I Think You ll Find it s a Bit More Complicated Than That , in this book Goldacre picks th The flesh and bones of Big Pharma s RD and marketing The Good While there may be some unsettling notions of Big Pharma, such feelings can easily be diverted to anti vax and other media sensationalism given the liberal black hole in critical analysis of political economy Unlike his previous books that deal with broader topics like media manipulation Bad Science Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks, I Think You ll Find it s a Bit More Complicated Than That , in this book Goldacre picks through the flesh and bones of Big Pharma malpractice or rather, practice for short term shareholder profit Highlights 1 Missing data from publication bias bad results No problem, just don t publish it Who is going to stop you, when you ve accumulated so much wealth power that you can lobby against actual enforcement of trial registers But what about evidence based medicine Pffft, morality is for losers there can only be one bottom line in business 2 Bad trials so how do you even get good results Well, there are many tricks you can play before resorting to outright falsification a Compare with something useless, like a placebo, even though doctors are interested in how well your drug does against other drug options.b If you compare with another drug, you can give that other drug in sub optimal manners c Test on unrepresentative patients Ignore dropouts d Stop your trial early once your results start looking good, or keep it going longer to wait for that random good news e Test for surrogate outcomes ex blood pressure and extrapolate from that ex prevents heart attacks, saves lives f Switch the study s primary outcome subgroup cherry picking.g Heck, who needs good results Just write a good conclusion in your study.3 Marketing distorting information and paying for it what a strange system, high drug prices are deemed necessary to cover costs, where marketing is a major cost marketing admin twice as much as RD So, we are paying a premium for Big Pharma to distort evidence based decision making in medicine Besides marketing to patients, there is marketing to doctors via drug reps, medicalization of complex social issues, Pharma directed continued education, seeding trials trials just to get doctors using the drug , ghost writing studies, etc 4 Global patent property rights preventing production of generic drugs for poor countries priority of RD on 1st world problems how drugs are trialed on poor volunteers , and on poor countries with weak regulations.5 The potential for bigger, better trials using randomized trials integrated into clinical practice via health information technology to fulfill the potential of evidence based medical decision making, since large samples long timescales are much superior to trials to rush a drug onto the market The Missing From a political economy perspective, we should expect any industry built on short term profits for shareholders to have predatory outcomes The exact manners may be different between say the tobacco industry and the pharmaceutical industry, but common incentive structures bring common behavioral patterns We are not talking about drugs are baaaad we are considering issues in evidence, pricing, distribution, etc., and for this we must consider the power relations between government, Big Pharma, and the public This gets into social values and imagination, which is why so much corporate money is poured into public relations, media, think tanks, politics, and higher education Only great businessmen and private enterprise can command the hordes of workers to drive innovation and bring about optimal social outcomes, we are told While Goldacre touches on the consequences of First World drug companies and global south consequences neglect from less profitable markets, patent property rights forbidding life saving affordable generic drugs, testing drugs in poor countries with open markets who will not benefit from them, etc , this deserves an entire book Overall, this book has aserious tone than Goldacre s other books articles as it seemsgeared towards healthcare professionals Lots of touchy doctors out there let s not forget that it wasn t long ago before the 70s when Western medicine was predominantly eminence based medicine


  9. Duncan Duncan says:

    Here Ben Goldacre follows up on his previous book, Bad Science, by turning his spotlight solely on the pharmaceuticals industry This is a terrifying book because it argues in great detail that our understanding of the efficacy of many drugs and the extent of their side effects is fundamentally flawed.Goldacre starts with the criticism he finds most damning namely, when drug companies conduct a trial and the results don t support their own medecine, they frequently fail to publish the results Here Ben Goldacre follows up on his previous book, Bad Science, by turning his spotlight solely on the pharmaceuticals industry This is a terrifying book because it argues in great detail that our understanding of the efficacy of many drugs and the extent of their side effects is fundamentally flawed.Goldacre starts with the criticism he finds most damning namely, when drug companies conduct a trial and the results don t support their own medecine, they frequently fail to publish the results or they use dishonest tricks there s a chapter on ways that trials are intentionally flawed by design to yield positive results for the sponsoring company like re analysing the data until they find some random subset that can be written up as positive, and then pretending that was what they were testing for all along From the perspective of the pharmaceutical companies, their goal is simply to make money The problem is that when the published literature on virtually all of our medicines is dominated by one sided information, it is impossible for anyone in the medical profession to practice based on the evidence and as Ben Goldacre details, this has caused unnecessary pain and suffering, and even death, to enormous numbers of real people One example is of a heart drug estimated to have killed around 100,000 people before proper trial data revealed the dangers Missing data badly analysed means doctors cannot possibly make the best decisions when prescribing drugs In many cases, your doctor has no true idea which drug would likely be the best for you because the literature they study is full of disinformation Think about that the next time your doctor prescribes you any medicine, as mine did yesterday The remainder of the book is dedicated to examining how this situation is possible Goldacre writes about medical journals that fail to act in the interests of patients, as well as highly secretive regulators who neither hold drugs companies to account nor allow the data to reach the public domain so independent researchers can analyse the findings.In the last chapter, Goldacre discusses marketing and the techniques pharmaceuticals companies use, spending tens of billions of dollars each year, to make their drugs look better than they are in order to increase sales This is a deeply worrying book because it argues that the whole system for approving and regulating drugs, and disseminating accurate information on them, is broken There have been some attempts to address these issues as researchers unveil the depths of these problems, but all of these attempts have been fake fixes in the words of the author.Crucially, although Goldacre discusses individual cases of specific drugs throughout this book, most of the arguments are built on systematic reviews of the literature, which involve researchers collecting evidence from large numbers of trials to avoid the bias produced by collecting only small samples This shows that the problems described in this book are not one off cases, exceptions to the norm, but rather the norm itself The enormous fines levied on many of the world s largest drugs companies e.g 3 billion for GSK in July 2012, 2.3 billion for Pfizer in Sept 2009, etc also bear out the argument that all of this wrongdoing is standard practice in the industry, and their recency shows that the fixes have indeed been fake.The book is a little repetitive in places I think Goldacre wrote it this way to keep reminding lay people of the full range and gravity of his arguments Overall, it wasn t quite as enjoyable a read as Bad Science but it is a farimportant work This should be considered essential reading


  10. John John says:

    This is an outstanding book and everyone should read it It took me about 3 sittings to get through it as I found rage slowly building as I read it and had to get up and pace around the house a bit.The book systematically works through all the ways in which the practice of evidence based medicine is being distorted by the big pharmaceutical companies It identifies all of the perverse incentives that make those distortions an unavoidable part of doing business, and then helpfully identifies ways This is an outstanding book and everyone should read it It took me about 3 sittings to get through it as I found rage slowly building as I read it and had to get up and pace around the house a bit.The book systematically works through all the ways in which the practice of evidence based medicine is being distorted by the big pharmaceutical companies It identifies all of the perverse incentives that make those distortions an unavoidable part of doing business, and then helpfully identifies ways to fix things.My only problem with the book is it gives ammunition to alternative medicine proponents, as it highlights a lot of problems with western medicine To that I say evidence based medicine is still the best method we ve got This book highlights how big pharma can distort the way evidence based practice works, alternative medicine can t even muster enough evidence to sit at the table


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Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients❮PDF❯ ✅ Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients Author Ben Goldacre – Thomashillier.co.uk We all feel uncomfortable about the role of profit in healthcare, we all have a vague notion that the global bn pharmaceutical industry is somehow evil and untrustworthy, but that sense rarely goes be We all feel How Drug PDF Ê uncomfortable about the role of profit in healthcare, we all have a vague notion that the global bn pharmaceutical industry is somehow evil and untrustworthy, but that sense rarely goes beyond a flaky, undifferentiated new age worldview Bad Pharma puts Bad Pharma: PDF \ real flesh on those bones, revealing the rigged evidence used by drug companies Bad information means bad treatment decisions, which means patients suffer and die there is no climactic moment of villainy, but drugs are used which are overpriced, less effective, and have side Pharma: How Drug PDF/EPUB å effects There are five cheap, easy things we can do to fix the problem Bad Pharma takes a big dirty secret out into the open, and will provide a single focus for concerns people have both inside and outside medicine.


About the Author: Ben Goldacre

Ben Goldacre is How Drug PDF Ê a British science writer and psychiatrist, born in He is the author of The Guardian newspaper s weekly Bad Science column and a book of the same title, published by Fourth Estate in September Goldacre is the son of Bad Pharma: PDF \ Michael Goldacre, professor of public health at the University of Oxford, the nephew of science journalist Robyn Williams, and the great great grandson of Sir Henry Parkes.