Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Drugs Don’t Work

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 01 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3335
  1. Laura Gleeson, intern, Centre for Ageing, Neuroscience, and the Humanities, Dublin, Ireland
  1. gleesole{at}

Death is a terrifying part of medicine, particularly for the junior trainee. Despite armfuls of medical terminology and the greater emphasis on emotional intelligence in modern training, nothing is more difficult to say to a patient than that the treatment isn’t working.

The indie rock band The Verve had been coasting along nicely in the alternative charts since the early 1990s. But in 1997 their single The Drugs Don’t Work crashed into the top position in the mainstream UK pop charts, bringing the band …

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