[Recommended] Testing Treatments


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This was an excellent book that defines, and hence dispels many of the myths about how various medical treatments are researched, tested, licensed & regulated. It also discussed the flaws & what possible improvements can be made in each of those stages.

Given that understanding, it talks a lot about what questions to ask doctors, and how the system might not accommodate what patients need & how that can be corrected. As well, it talks about how corporations lie with statistics and what to look for when reading statistics.

The book was excellently set up in a way that would make it a great school book. At the end of each paragraph it lists the main chapter points (except the last paragraph which has an “action plan” on how to deal with medical professionals and information.) It is also well cited and cites in detail where all their information was found so that one can do more in-depth research should they wish.

The book has 4 authors, 3 of who work in the medical and research communities and 1 who works as a patient/research advocate so that even the patients point of view was represented.

I liked it because it gave me a good, systemic look as to how medical treatments start from the research to the pharmacists or doctors shelves.

What I didn’t like was that even though it showed how people (mostly companies) can lie or mislead in their studies or using loopholes in the law (which I found interesting) it didn’t spend as much time as I’d like explaining how to analyze & find those lies or loopholes though it did discuss it somewhat.

The forward is by Doctor & Psychiatrist Ben Goldacre who has the column, website and book Bad Science. For those who are interested, the Testing Treatments book is downloadable for free at http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/testing-treatments.html
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