Not too sure what to make of this. Truthman recently wrote a blog ‘Will The Real Ben Goldacre Please Stand Up’. Mr Goldacre is a psychiatrist and author of ‘Bad Pharma’, a book on the misdeeds of the pharmaceutical industry. What Truthman was saying was that Goldacre’s book was just a rehash of other books which came before it, eg., David Healy, Marcia Angell etc – ah feck it, it’s too hard to explain; read his blog here.
The thing that surprised me most was Goldacre’s comment on Truthman’s blog. He’s not one to shy away from an argument it seems, although Truthman did refer to Goldacre’s book as ‘impotent’ and you know how sensitive men get with ‘that’ word. He also alluded to Goldacre’s involvement or ‘non-involvement’ with GlaxoSmithKline’s supposed transparency decision; in my opinion, a non-existent publicity stunt by GSK.
I thought that Goldacre was a little churlish bringing David Healy into his comment, although then again, Truthman did mention the latter’s review of the book at issue: “An insightful (albeit also complex) review of Bad Pharma from David Healy (not so bad pharma) seems to conclude that the problem with Bad Pharma rests not upon the repetition of content already covered, or the many flawed arguments raised which seem to rally against the pharmaceutical industry but actually often work in their favor, “but on the premium Ben puts on controlled trials not found in other books”.
Truthman is a very intelligent writer, whose research is usually impeccable. On this occasion he seems to have rubbed Ben Goldacre up the wrong way. This is a very interesting and enjoyable read (handbags at dawn) but I’m afraid you’ll just have to make up your own mind – Will The Real Ben Goldacre Please Stand Up?