Do Statins Work?

Ben Goldacre

Statins are the single most commonly prescribed class of drugs in the whole of the developed world. They’re taken by over 100 million people, with millions more patients being offered them every year.

We know that statins do some good. But we don’t know how big the benefits are. We don’t know which is the best. We don’t how common the side effects are. We don’t give clear information to patients, so they are deprived of their right to make informed decisions about the trade-off between benefits, inconvenience, and risk. All this can be fixed, with a few simple changes that weld big data onto the heart and art of medicine.

Drawing on his own research, Ben Goldacre gives patients the tools they need to make their own decisions. Along the way he explores industry misdeeds; the “nocebo” effect, the evil twin of the placebo effect, where side effects are caused by the power of fear alone; and the differences in patients’ desire for treatment, and doctors’ failures to empathise with these. With his characteristic wit and energy, Goldacre exposes the flaws in modern medicine, and the future it deserves.

Reviews of Do Statins Work?

  • From the review of ‘I Think You’ll Find It’s More Complicated Than That’:

    ‘In a busy world where most of us believe what we’re told, the science writer Goldacre looks behind the quackery. “Science is squabble,” he says … In short, everything you take at face value is wrong. Maybe even this review: now read Ben.’ The Times

    From the reviews of ‘Bad Science’:

    ‘For sheer savagery, the illusion-destroying, joyous attack on the self-regarding, know-nothing orthodoxies of the modern middle classes, “Bad Science” can not be beaten. You’ll laugh your head off, then throw all those expensive health foods in the bin.’ Trevor Philips, Observer (Book of the Year)

    ‘Unmissable … enormously enjoyable.’ The Times (Book of the Year)

    From the reviews of ‘Bad Pharma’:

    ‘This is a book to make you enraged – properly, bone-shakingly furious…A work of brilliance.’ Daily Telegraph

    ‘An important book. Ben Goldacre is angry, and by the time you put ‘Bad Pharma’ down, you should be too.’ New Statesman