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106 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where are all the acolades (and reviews) for this brilliant book?
After just finishing this book - as good a piece of investigative journalism as they come - I'm as shocked by the lack of reviews here as I am by seeing the ugly revelation of the "man behind the curtains" true face of Big Pharma.

Petersen has chosen an enormous subject, the debased fall and ugly spectacle of medical scientists and researchers, the entire...
Published on April 7, 2008 by Barbara Wellesley

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener, but...
This book is a great exposé of the pharmaceutical industry and its intricate links with the FDA, medical industries, and physicians in the United States. It is also very sensationalist. While reading it, I was shocked at not only the content but also the lack of references for very bold claims and the single viewpont presented. Don't get me wrong, I am all about...
Published on July 2, 2011 by Sarah


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener, but..., July 2, 2011
This review is from: Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs (Paperback)
This book is a great exposé of the pharmaceutical industry and its intricate links with the FDA, medical industries, and physicians in the United States. It is also very sensationalist. While reading it, I was shocked at not only the content but also the lack of references for very bold claims and the single viewpont presented. Don't get me wrong, I am all about pharmaceutical reform, but books such as this are not going to be taken much beyond face value without serious backing and with facts and references.

I also found the prescriptive section at the end to feel like a bit of a tack-on, finishing the book on a weak note with a few far-fetched suggestions tainting the otherwise rightful call for industry reform.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!!, July 18, 2008
This book is an important read for anyone taking medication, anyone who knows someone on medication, or anyone who is thinking about getting on medication. With that said, EVERYONE should be reading this book!! It is important for us a consuming public to educate ourselves on issues that we deal with everyday.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Daily Meds, July 19, 2008
Anyone working in healthcare is keenly aware that there are serious problems with the system. As a mental healthcare professional I have to cope with these issues on a daily basis. This book help put all the pieces of the puzzle together. I found it to be very historically enlightening as to how our healthcare system got into its current state. Reading it has lowered my feelings of confusion, isolation and frustration at the professional level.

Michael D. Morgan, Psy.D.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Can You Trust?, July 16, 2008
By 
It's about time someone took an educated and well-researched stand against pharmaceutical companies and the erosion of ethics in medicine.It's a shame that the general public will not read this book. Usually the only people that read books like this are already leaning in that direction. It's like the author is singing to the choir. The question is, how do we get it into the mainstream and into the public consciiousness and conscience?
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the truth!, May 27, 2008
By 
We all owe a large debt to Ms Paterson for this book. After many years of research, she has written this book which should be in every home in the country.The drug industry is out of control. We are all at risk because of the greed of the pharmas. Furthermore, the idea that these companies should be allowed to advertise on TV is evil. And doctors should be chastened as well. They should not be able to profit from the prescribing of any drugs.
I personally know of several doctors who receive percs from the drug companies and they are so blatant about it that one is tempted to out them about it.
We, as patients of these doctors, have a responsibility to hold them accountable for their actions. We all pay the price for their greed in our health and our pocketbooks.
So, do yourselves a favor and get this book and also buy it for somebody you love. It may save your lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is what happens with capitalistic medicine, August 30, 2012
By 
Dana Landry (Sherman Oaks, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The veil was lifted on the drug industry's antics long ago, but Petersen's book is helpful for encapsulating the role that very clever marketing plays. While the inside information from multiple shamed drug companies is instructive, the book is aggressively one-sided in its critique. Citations are provided to back up the facts, but some of them seem specious. An extrapolated estimation of how many deaths are caused by prescriptions is discussed as if it represents real numbers, not a hypothesis. Claiming that ten percent of dementias have been found to be drug-induced minimizes a very real syndrome and could influence people to throw away their loved ones' drugs that may be helping them stave off a more rapid decline in Alzheimer's. Read this sensationalistic passage: "In 1980 a 65-year-old American woman could be comforted by the fact that her expected life span was longer than that of her contemporaries living almost anywhere else in the world...... By 2002, in a list of the longevity in 30 nations, 65-year-old American women came in 17th." OK - since this is journalistic work, why not put where 65-year-old women ranked in 1980? It's "longer than almost anywhere else..." but no numeric location to prove the point. Was it first or second place? 16th? This is spin. I agree that the meds probably have decreased our lifespan, but this writing style makes me doubt the objectivity of the writer.

In the end, Ms. Petersen's passionate calls for regulation to put an end to problems with Big Pharma may rally the troops, but they fall flat. For example, there are already laws in place to prevent kick-backs and to prevent commerce between Medicare providers. The legal industry, no paragon of charity,is primarily interested in pursuing qui tam actions, which are lawsuits on behalf of whistleblowers from which they get a significant cut of the monetary penalty imposed by the government. There's no money to be made enforcing the anti-kickback or Stark laws; these would have to be litigated by the government, and I doubt state and federal governments are eager to start throwing doctors in jail.

When people read this and get worked up about how the evil drug companies are making money, they need to remember that this is what you get when you have a capitalistic system of healthcare. The pharmaceutical companies, doctors, pharmacies, R&D departments of universities, etc. are not simply greedy. They're human. Americans ARE the most over-medicated country on earth, with the most ill effects from our medications, paying the most for healthcare from our collective prosperity; and you may want to step back and ask yourself why.

Was it worthwhile to read? I recommend Marcia Angell's book for a more balanced take on the devices employed by Big Pharma, but I did learn a lot about the marketing. After reading this book, I cast a more critical eye on news programs about the latest and greatest. The other day a perky Jamie Lee Curtis announced from my TV, "If you think a little irregularity is no big deal, think again." I thought - again - Oh no, another pill... but she is shilling for a yogurt company! From reading Our Daily Meds I am savvy to the existence of such ad firms as one called IntraMed, a division of the advertising behemoth WPP, which specialize in developing marketing plans for pharmaceutical companies, in many cases even writing "studies" for medical journals to dupe doctors into thinking the drugs have real science behind them. I give those marketers credit for being brilliant in their schemes; clearly they've found their next golden goose in the supplement industry, which I hope will soon be treated to its own journalistic scrutiny. (Tangent: By the way, Jamie Lee, a little irregularity is not a big deal. Also, why don't you just say "Can't poo"? For years I had no idea what the word irregularity was referring to. Now that I figured it out, may I recommend a diet light on cheeseburgers and high on broccoli.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening read, August 28, 2011
This review is from: Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs (Paperback)
I've never thought that big pharma was in business out of the kindness of their hearts, but I also didn't realize just how messed up the system was. This was an eye-opening read that has me thinking completely differently about prescription medications.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Success story - how to profit profusely from an ill-informed public, June 18, 2008
By 
Barbara Bullas (Pacific Grove CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ms. Peterson has raised a clarion call to those of us who continue to believe that our government's oversight departments (read: "FDA") have any concern for our well being, both health-wise and financially.

I have worked in the medical field for more than thirty years and have traveled widely outside of the U.S. Purchasing medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription, has been a real eye opener for me in that the prices for both are always significantly less in other countries although manufactured by the same giant pharmaceutical companies based in the U.S.

In essence, Ms. Petersen's book speaks to the truth of the deceitful practices of both the pharmaceutical companies and the federal agency that is supposed to oversee their legitimacy. Our doctors are aiding and abetting Pharma's use of our vulnerable and too trusting citizens to serve as their guinea pigs until a couple of hundred people die after several years of "experimentation."

This book is an absolutely necessary "must read" for all who think there's a cure for everything in a pill or capsule, legally prescribed by our physicians who, coincidentally, often stand to profit greatly from their complicity with Pharma's clever marketing practices.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The drugging of America, March 25, 2010
This review is from: Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs (Paperback)
"In 1996 ... the drug industry paid for 151,434 dinners, retreats, meetings or other events for America's physicians. By 2004 the number of these corporate-paid parties and events for physicians had more than tripled to 536,734. That came to 1,470 events every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. The industry paid for more dinners and events in 2004 than the nation had doctors ... Most doctors believe a gift can't sway their judgment, that they are somehow different from everyone else. Study after study has shown they are wrong." - From OUR DAILY MEDS

According to the author of OUR DAILY MEDS, Melody Petersen, the golden age of American pharmaceuticals spanned the period from about 1935 to 1955, during which time new and truly effective drugs were invented by academic researchers working independently of the pharmaceutical companies which marketed the medicinal remedies. Then over the next decades, the dynamic changed: rules were relaxed and academics and universities became the drug industry's partners in profit; as patents expired, drug companies switched to and patented new chemical variants little different from their predecessors and no more effective; the pharmaceutical industry discovered the power of promotion to sell more product; it became illegal to advertise drug pricing. As a result, the drug manufacturers became focused on making easy money as greed - facilitated by willful deceit, cover-up, and obfuscation - took over. The snake-oil salesmen re-emerged on the American scene and the country's physicians became their paid hacks in the marketing push to get as many citizens as possible, including children, to begin ingesting prescription medicines, which often prove to be marginally effective at best and sometimes downright deadly, to alleviate perceived chronic ailments.

Petersen's damning indictment of contemporary drug makers uses as examples the names of companies and their drugs from a virtual wall of shame: Pharmacia (Bextra), Pharmacia/Pfizer (Detrol, Celebrex), Wyeth (Effexor, Redux, Pondimin), Wyeth-Ayerst (Prempro), Alza (Ditropan), Sanofi (Ambien), Pfizer (Zoloft, Lipitor, Viagra, Diflucan, Zithromax), Pfizer/Eisai (Aricept), Novartis (Lamisil, Zelnorm, Ritalin, Ritalin LA), Fujisawa (Protopic), Abbott (Biaxin, Depakote, Tranxene), Galderma (Differin), Serono (Saizen), Aventis (Lovenox), Eli Lilly (Prozac), Eli Lilly/ICOS (Cialis), AstraZeneca (Crestor, Iressa), Glaxo (Zantac), GlaxoSmithKline (Wellbutrin, Imitrex, Augmentin), Glaxo Wellcome (Zofran), Bayer (Baycol), Forest Labs (Celexa, Lexapro), Solvay (Luvox), Johnson & Johnson (Concerta, Risperdal, Propulsid), Massengill (Elixir Sulfanilamide), Merrell (Kevadon), American Home Products (Inderal LA), Roche (Rocephin), Sandoz (Sandimmune), Schering-Plough (Claritin, Clarinex), Merck (Vioxx), SmithKline Beecham (Paxil), Celltech (Metadate), Pfizer/Parke-Davis (Rezulin), Pfizer/Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis (Neurontin), Upjohn (Panalba), Shire (Adderall), Purdue Pharma (OxyContin), and Genentech (Avastin, Tarceva).

Where in all this is the Food and Drug Administration, the presumed protector of America's citizens against rapacious drug companies? As the author points out:

"... a 1992 law, passed at the urging of the industry's lobbyists, (allows) drug companies to pay 'user fees' to the FDA to have their products approved more quickly. The law turned the relationship between the FDA and the drug companies on its head. The FDA began providing a service to the industry that now paid it. Drug companies became the agency's customers. Prior to the law, the sole duty of the FDA had been to police companies and protect consumers."

Should OUR DAILY MEDS outrage the reader? Most definitely, yes. Will the book's narrative be a surprise? Perhaps not. What angers me personally is that the pharmaceutical companies apparently take consumers for chumps. What angers me even more is that their assessment is probably bang-on.

OUR DAILY MEDS comes across as an exemplary work of journalistic reporting, albeit impassioned by the toll prescription drugs have exacted on Melody's home state of Iowa. At the end of the volume, one must surely share Petersen's verdict:

"There is a kind of madness in it. The drug companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars in government fines for promoting their products illegally and hundreds of millions of dollars more to the families of the victims who suffered or died, then raise their prices and promote their products even harder ... Much of the blame must be put on the nation's physicians, who have enjoyed the industry's gifts as their profession has been corrupted and patients have suffered ... Marketing has no place in medicine. But in America marketing has replaced the science, honesty, and caring that the best medicine requires. Money rules. Patients come second."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Must Read, February 8, 2009
By 
Cocomeezer (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
This is a must read for me. I noticed that several of the reviews who gave this book only one star said things like everyone knows this stuff or that she didn't research well. I also noticed these same reviewers have reviewed no other books.

It makes me wonder if those people were paid to lower the rating on this book!

At any rate, I'll admit it, I don't review many books. I have one other book that I felt strongly enough about to review. Additionally I am an alternative health care provider so I am naturally biased in favor of what this book says. However, the information in here scared me. I look at studies and I look at what the experts say with a grain of salt, however I never in a million years thought they might essentially be making up their science and it starts sounding like they are.

I look at the criticisms of studies of alternative medicine and I wonder if it's not the same people who want to sell more medications that are saying the natural things don't work (even if they do).

Everyone needs to read this book and I hope they do.

The saddest thing is that this industry which has the potential to do so much good is being run into the ground by greedy executives.
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