Ben Goldacre has written a new book! Which I haven't read. But he wrote a big post for the Guardian outlining the basic point! Which I got about a third of the way through. But he's got a TED talk, also covering the same content! This is great, because it's much easier to watch Ben Goldacre talk than to read long articles. So, here's that video.
The basic point is that Big Pharma is really, really awful. Like, the drug companies' and medical journals' habits frequently kill people.
Now, this is Ben Goldacre. He's not suggesting that we run to alternative medicine and eat plants and drink tea and take sugar pills instead of seeing doctors. But we've hit a point in medical research where the quality of our method is insufficient to keep improving the quality of our drugs.
What happens is, (a.) journals don't like publishing negative studies -- studies that turned out to disprove or not support the hypothesis -- because they're boring, they're not interesting science, so they damage the quality of the reviews. So, a drug with a few fluke good results, and dozens of bad results, will have a few published good reviews and go to market. And, (b.) drug companies bury bad results, too.
Particle science is pushing towards a dramatically more open source scientific publication standard. I think the medical industry needs this, too.