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Doctors and patients alike trust the medical profession and its therapeutic powers; yet this trust has often been misplaced. Whether prescribing opium or thalidomide, aspirin or antidepressants, doctors have persistently failed to test their favourite ideas - often with catastrophic results. From revolutionary America to Nazi Germany and modern big-pharmaceuticals, this is the unexpected story of just how bad medicine has been, and of its remarkably recent effort to improve.

It is the history of well-meaning doctors misled by intuition, of the startling human cost of their mistakes and of the exceptional individuals who have helped make things better. Alarming and optimistic, Taking the Medicine is essential reading for anyone interested in how and why to trust the pills they swallow.

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