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Seena Fazel from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, UK reviews "The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs" by Joanna Moncrieff.

He writes on PLOSBlogs: "The Bitterest Pill presents an opening argument against antipsychotics. It is useful insofar as it highlights the experience of patients taking these medications, the difficult history of many psychiatric treatments, and the overdiagnosis and overtreatment that seems to be prevalent in much of medicine including psychiatry. It carefully but selectively reviews the research evidence, and highlights the considerable problems with antipsychotics. However, a more judicious and cautious approach to the evidence would be more helpful for patients, carers, and their doctors, rather than extreme positions on either side." ... "Books for the defence need to be written that focus on key problems for patients and public health – underfunded and overstretched psychiatric services in high income countries, and the continued scarcity of such services in low and middle income countries. Even in America, the three largest institutions that treat psychiatric patients are jails, many of whom according to recent surveys by the Department of Justice are subject to appallingly high rates of sexual abuse. Books like Moncrieff’s that only target the drugs and their manufacturers miss the mark."


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