The pharmaceutical industry has been under attack from the left. After all, drug companies have vastly improved the quality of our lives and they make a profit: those two things can't go together! One can't respond to every attack, but sometimes the smears are too big to ignore.
Case in point: this op-ed by Ben Goldacre, a physician, accusing Big Pharma of systemically hiding data related to failed clinical trials of drugs. It's all a conspiracy, according to Goldacre -- indeed, the US drug companies have cleverly conspired to spend $60 billion on drug development a year. The scoundrels!
Fortunately, my friends at the Manhattan Institute's Medical Progress Today blog have demolished Goldacre's paranoid thesis. In an excellent, succinct piece, Paul Howard and Josh Bloom describe Goldacre's misrepresentations and explain that the "the flaws in the clinical-trials system result from a labyrinth of regulatory standards and an abysmally high failure rate in drug discovery—not a conspiracy of evildoers." Read the whole thing here.