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on March 18, 2015
This is a very thorough account of the many, many problems with America's prescription drug industry. Reading this book could save your life.
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on October 7, 2014
Good price, came on time.
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on August 8, 2014
This is an excellent book written by a person who was a journalist writing about the pharmaceutical industry for years then researching for several more years to inform readers about the collusion in the industry to medicate the world. OK, maybe that is a bit extreme. However, she does expose a lot about the industry operations, research (or lack of research), education, marketing, propaganda, etc.
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on July 9, 2014
Wonderful book!
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on February 19, 2014
Great book. It was required for my psychopharmacology class. Interesting read for information on the business of prescriptions . I recommend
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on November 12, 2013
After reading this book, I have to ask what we, as consumers, can do about it. It seems the only possible answer is to refuse to buy in to the marketing. Think for yourself, educate yourself, stop assuming you are sick and must get these pills. If the consumer stopped pouring money into these schemes, the market for the pills/drugs would dry up. I applaud medical practitioners who say NO to big pharma and treat people instead of illness.

I believe the whole "modern medical" system is due for a crash very very soon. It cannot continue the way it has for very much longer.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon October 16, 2013
Melody Peterson "wrote about the pharmaceutical industry for four years a a reporter for The New York Times. In 1997 her investigative reporting won a Gerald Loeb Award, one of the highest honors in business journalism." She wrote in the introduction to this 1998 book, "This is a book about a great transformation in the prescription drug industry over the last twenty-five years. Once the most successful pharmaceutical companies were those with the brightest scientists seaching for cures. Now the most profitable and powerful drugmakers are those with the most creative and aggressive marketers. The drug companies have become marketing machines, selling antidepressants like Paxil, pain pills like Celebrex, and heart medications like Lipitor with the same methods that Coca-Cola uses to sell Sprite and Procter & Gamble uses to sell Tide. SELLING prescription drugs---rather than DISCOVERING them---has become the pharmaceutical industry's obsession." (Pg. 4) She adds, "this book is about how America's for-profit medical system... has failed..." (Pg. 11)

She observes, "While other state employees were banned by law from accepting gifts valued at more than three dollars from any industry, the state-employed physicians were accepting tens of thousands of dollars form companies making drugs and medical devices. The drugmakers paid the academic physicians to give speeches about their products, to sit on their advisory boards, and to work for them as 'consultants' ... the public's health was no longer the only thing on the minds of the academic physicians in Iowa or at other teaching hospitals across the country." (Pg. 71)

She notes, "the acting [FDA] commissioner ... announced that the agency had decided to loosen its drug-advertising restrictions and pave the way for a massive shift in the marketing of drugs from print advertising to the more powerful medium of television. What had held the drug companies back from television ads was the requirement that they provide consumers with detailed information regarding a medicine's possible risks. For most drugs, the information requires several typewritten pages. Instead, under the FDA's new rules, the companies were now free to provide simply a few of the drugs' more common risks, along with a toll-free phone number where the curious could find out more." (Pg. 152)

She also reports, "As the drug companies concentrated on selling daily medications to treat chronic conditions and on lifestyle pills like Viagra, some abandoned efforts to discover products like antibiotics and vaccines that actually saved lives but were taken just once or for brief periods... These decisions affected all the world's populations, including Americans who had so overused the available antibiotics that doctors were finding more and more cases where the drugs no longer worked against lethal infections. Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from infections that were once easily remedied with an antibiotic." (Pg. 161)

She says, "Some scientists have pointed out that only a fraction of present-day medical interventions... are supported by sound scientific evidence." (Pg. 206) She adds, "The government does not know how many Americans die every year in accidents caused by drivers impaired by prescription drugs... medications have long been causing thousands of motor vehicle accidents every year and killing innocent people in their wake." (Pg. 286-287)

She concludes, "Few Americans understand they are spending so much on medical care... The true financial burden of health care is hidden. Most people have health insurance paid for by an employer... They don't realize how many thousands of dollars of their taxes are funneled to the medical system... At the same time, medical spending is concentrated with the minority of Americans suffering from chronic or serious illnesses, even though everyone pitches in to pay the fast-rising cost." (Pg. 316)

This is a book that's almost CHILLING in its information; it will be of great interest to anyone studying modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
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on July 27, 2013
Create a disease and then market the medicine. It's all about marketing. Marketers - not scientists rule! The first created disease was GERD. It was created by Glaxo along with its solution ranitidine in 1981. By 1988 Zantac (ranitidine) was the biggest selling prescription drug in the world. Melody Peterson in this very interesting book talks about this on pages 134-141 (Chapter 5).

She actually begins the story with the created disease "overactive bladder" and its solution - Detrol which began in 1999. This idea of a created disease comes directly from a presentation slide presented by Neil Wolf (VP of Pharmacia bought out by Pfizer in 2002) at a large Pharmaceutical Marketing Global Summit held in Philadelphia in 2003.The screen reads "Positioning Detrol ( Creating a Disease)" ( page 16).

To learn more, read the book.
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on March 28, 2013
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on March 24, 2013
I have always been rather suspicious about all the medication being pushed and this book confirms it. Medicine is a wonderful necessary thing with serious illness but too many people want a pill for any hiccup in their life. I have been telling all my friends about this book and urging them to read it - yes, even my friends who are or have made a very good living as a drug rep.
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