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Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher Paperback – April 24, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gwendolyn Leslie Olsen spent more than a decade as a sales rep in the pharmaceutical industry working for health care giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Abbott Laboratories. She is a writer, speaker, and mental health activist who lives outside Austin, Texas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse; F First Paperback Edition Used edition (April 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935278592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935278597
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been a pharmacist since 1971 and I vividly recall a conversation I once had with a drug salesman (called detail man at the time). He explained that his goal was to sell a certain number of dollars worth of one particular drug. He stated that he didn't care whether he sold one pill or a million, as long as the price worked out to his goal. That conversation has stuck with me for over two decades because it was at that moment that I first realized my perception of the drug companies was far different from what people in that industry believed.

Perhaps I was naive, but during pharmacy school and years of work at a large county hospital, I found that I actually believed my profession was honorable and that I was part of a giant team focused on helping people be healthy and get well when illness struck. This was surely the ideal in school, and I assumed things actually operated that way.

Gwen Olsen's book is exactly as the title says, a CONFESSION. She has done a clear, masterful job describing how she unwittingly lived through the horrors of a harmful, dysfunctional family and found herself enmeshed in an industry where she was expected to make sales at any cost. Concern for an ill person was not part of her work paradigm.

The author not only lived through the personal and business issues but exited from both, apparently still intact. After my first reading of "Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher", I described it to friends as terrifying and almost sickening. That description remains valid. More important than the story is the reports of experience, learning, and growth that shaped this author into a perfect spokesperson for all of us who find ourselves in direct opposition to the antics of the drug companies.
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Format: Paperback
Finally a very honest and genuine account of the reality of the drug industry. Gwen Olsen takes you through a personal journey of a pharma sales rep with glimpses into the harsh reality of how the pharmaceutical industry operates. In this account, Gwen courageously talks about the suicide of her niece and the effects that prescribed medication may have had on bringing about this tragedy.
Her work is scrupulously researched and very balanced as she tries to find answers to the events that led to the death of her young niece. At the same time she begins to question her work as a "drug salesman" and begins to question the ethos of the health care system. Could the same drugs that she had been selling be harmful to the brain chemistry of people, perhaps permanently? Olsen gives a balanced view of the factors that led to the violent suicide of this young soul. It is not an attack on the pharmaceutical industry, but an honest account by someone who is brave enough to have broken away from what was a lucrative career in order to find truth.

Having left pharmaceutical research myself, for reasons similar to what Olsen describes, I can relate very closely to what she says. Now, working in clinical practice, I see the devastating effects that prescribed medicines can cause. This is a book that I will be recommending to many patients that come through my door.
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I am impressed with the details of this book... I had always been suspect of being over medicated and once nearly died when five different doctors prescribed a toxic combination of thirteen drugs to help with my combined problems from diabetes, anemia, chronic pain and depression. After four months of feeling worse, I weaned myself off all prescribed drugs but not without feeling suicidal.

At one point I lied to my psychiatrist, and stopped taking all meds he prescribed. I refused to take blood tests to find levels and ignored many attempts to try 'new' samples of medication. During the time period of not taking psych medication I started to gain strength and heal with talk therapy. No psych drugs needed. Why did I do this? Because, while on psych drugs I felt lethargic, suicidal, fatigued and lived with no hope. At first, I was afraid to share this information with the same doctors who were treating me because according to my insurance guideline I must be medicated to receive benefits. I was outraged, intimidated and manipulated into buying un-necessary medication and storing un-used meds in my medicine cabinet just to get my medical bills paid by insurance and continue to receive psychiatric help...

I am doing well today. My therapy lasted eighteen years and yes, I was a mess. But I healed by working with my therapist and doctors to my individual needs. Without a toxic combination of drugs.

I am a survivor of multiple personality disorder. I now see a holistic doctor and never felt better physically and mentally in my life. The mind is powerful and I am a true believer in less is more.

In reading this book it not only confirmed my belief but has helped me understand the world of a rx drug sales rep.
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Format: Paperback
This honest account by Gwen Olsen brought hope and answers! The puzzling questions of what happens to people on these drugs, the effects and the hazards. I have recommended (and bought it) for several people and the opinion is this is a must read for anyone on or contemplating taking SSRIs, how big PHarma has hood winked the public, and the very real dangers of the anti-depressant world (why we are seeing violence and suicides escalating). I am so sorry for your loss and I thank you Gwen Olsen for your courage!
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