Dr Ben Goldacre, who writes the Guardian's Bad Science column, has claimed that drugs are tested by the people who make them, in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of patients and the results analysed in a way that exaggerates the benefits.
In his new book Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients, he alleges that if trials show up results that companies do not like, they are entitled to hide them from doctors and patients.
He has also said that if members of the public knew what really went on they would be very angry.
Speaking to the Today programme, Dr Goldacre said: "Regulators have been very bad and, in my view, unethical in withholding information that doctors and patients need to make decisions."
But Stephen Whitehead, the Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, told the Today programme: "There's a lot of information that we are not allowed to release in terms of public interest. It's illegal for us to release certain information to the public."
Get in touch with Today via
or text us on 84844.