Bad pharma is good reading

Another book recommendation as I belatedly read books I should have read when they came out.

Bad Pharma is a book health librarians must read (anyone with an interest in how decisions are made on medicines would do well to do so) (wikipedia has a summary for the tl:dr crowd).

During the period I was reading it I ran more than my usual number of critical appraisal sessions and the book was a great source of new examples to call on as I discussed bias, ethics and the niceties of what gets published.  It does cause some issues as the picture of the extensive failings of our publishing system may leave people feeling somewhat deflated (it did me).

The chapters “missing data” and “bad trials” offer the richest source for improving understanding and helpful stories.  The final chapter on marketing is depressing in the extent of the work of drug companies in this area. More money is spent on marketing than research. Medical education is reliant on drug marketing money.

Very few of my trainees had read the book (though that might be why they were at my training) which surprised me given the profile of the author and the subsequent media coverage of All Trials.

Reflecting on Lean in

Nearly two years ago the Library Leadership Reading Group (steered by the super Jo Alcock) read Lean in By Sheryl Sandberg. I did not have access to a copy at the time but read commentary on it and watched her Ted video.

There was a really good twitter discussion in the group that you can read here.

Thanks to the serendipity of wandering the shelves at the Public Library I have finally got hold of a copy and read it (sadly the period between me borrowing it and reading it encompassed the death of the author’s husband David Goldberg). I am glad I took the time to read the book and would recommend it to all (it is a value packed 170 or so pages).

I am very aware that any comments from me come from a position of privilege. I also do not wish to share too much of what is not mine alone to share. Suffice to say that I recognise my own failure to do all I can do to advance equality at home and work.

The book strikingly presents some of the ways gender impacts on how people are perceived, treated and work. It places a challenge to men and women to address imbalances that remain significant. We need to talk about these issues and we need to work on addressing them.  I plan to do both – at home and at work.