While there is a lot of good stuff in the book, like its recommendation to take psyllium for high cholesterol (which I started to take today), I think that it goes too far in the “worst pills” category.
In diabetes drugs, for example, it says not to use two first-generation sulfonylureas Dymelor and Diabinese (other sulfonylureas, are OK for “limited use”). Generic metformin and brand-name Glucophage are also OK “for limited use.” Do not use, the book says, Actos, Avandia, Starlix, or Prandin. Most of us with type 2 diabetes use one of these drugs. If that’s you, you might want to read Worst Pills, Best Pills. But don’t stop taking them without talking it over with your doctor.
The book doesn’t mention two seldom used drugs, Precose and Glycet. And too new to be included are Symlin and Byetta, which some people do consider to be breakthrough drugs, but might well fall out according to the book’s seven-year rule. The only diabetes drug the book doesn’t have any problem with is insulin. My website has a page about the different diabetes pills at mendosa.com/drugs.htm and the insulins at mendosa.com/insulin.htm.
The current edition of Worst Pills, Best Pills is a revision of a book that Public Citizen has published since 1988. A totally new section this year covers the most common dietary and herbal supplements. What was amazing to me was that among these supplements the book says “do not use” to every single one. Not even Coenzyme Q10, which most authorities say you really need if you are taking metformin, as I am.
My conclusion: The book is extreme, but if you consider it judiciously, it can be a good balance to pharmaceutical propaganda.