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Pharmageddon 1st Edition

33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520270985
ISBN-10: 0520270983
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Editorial Reviews


“Healy’s contrarian streak and sharpness make this a disturbing, well-documented indictment that echoes many others in recent years, and one worth heeding.”
(Publishers Weekly 2012-01-30)

“Powerful. . . . Healy exposes the secrets that enable drug companies to circumvent protections. . . . And he also offers a solution.”
(Human Givens 2012-12-01)

"We owe respect to David Healy for his knowledge, diligence and idealism. This and his other writings require expertise and courage..."

(E. James Lieberman Metapsychology Online Reviews 2014-03-11)

From the Inside Flap

"This meticulously documented book makes extraordinary claims with far-reaching intellectual and practical ramifications. It is the most powerful critique of the contemporary medical-industrial complex that I know."—Andrew T. Scull, author of Hysteria and Madness: A Very Short Introduction

“This book shines a bright light on the pharmaceutical industry (and American healthcare) in the same way that Silent Spring called out the chemical industry and Unsafe at Any Speed called out the automobile industry. Pharmageddon is Healy's most important book to date. It will make a real contribution toward healing our sick system of pharmaceutical-driven medicine and helping doctors provide better care for their patients.”--Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, author of The Estrogen Elixir and On the Pill

“In this startling book, David Healy argues that 'evidence-based' medicine—and a healthy dose of corrupt science—has led modern medicine off a cliff. His book is provocative, challenging, and informative, and ultimately it serves as a powerful manifesto for rethinking modern medicine.”--Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

"Like a good detective story, Pharmageddon weaves together the history of modern medicine, the evolution of clinical trials and statistical analyses, changes in international patent laws, privatization of clinical research, blurring of the line between academics and industry, and the enabling role of medical journals. If you want to learn how to protect yourself (or your patients) from medical commercialism and how medical practice can be re-directed back toward its true mission, this book is a must read."—John Abramson, author of Overdosed America


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520270983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520270985
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #909,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By John M. Nardo on February 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Healy moves beyond the boundaries of his specialty, psychiatry, to describe how the changes in Medicine and Medical Care we all perceive are, in fact, symptomatic of the increasing dominance of our Healthcare systems by a vast medical-industrial complex that increasingly drives every aspect of Medicine. He shows how previous "reforms" - prescription drugs, the formation of the FDA, Clinical Trials, Patent Laws, etc. have been co-opted by industry over the years - turning previous "reforms" into strangle-holds that have shaped and contorted traditional medicine, creating physicians who are often functioning as salesmen for the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industry, physicians who are treating lifestyles rather than people with disease. This is not a book with complaints about just some aspects of medical care nor is it laced with conspiracy theories. It's a historical travelogue through largely familiar territory, but adding keen insights on the back stories and unintended consequences that have been fundamentally undermining our healthcare system in plain view. His predictions are dire, but impossible to ignore. Pharmageddon is a must-read for anyone in the healthcare world and anyone who plans to need healthcare in the future - in short, everyone.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Josquin DesPrez on May 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is chock full of evidence that the corruption of the medical system in this country is deep and pervasive. The most important bottom line message is that this corruption has a serious effect on the quality of healthcare delivered by even the most conscientious doctors, nurses, and hospitals.

Those who should be looking out for the best interests of patients are mostly failing to do their jobs, even if they are not actively participating in the corruption. For instance, the allegedly prestigious New England Journal of Medicine makes no attempt to check on the veracity of drug company studies and its editor expresses that she has "no regrets" about publishing a fraudulent study of Paxil. (Paxil was found by the study to be no more effective than a placebo and much more likely than a placebo to induce suicidal behavior in young people --- but this data was deliberately left out of the published study by the company who ran the study.)

Next time you see one of those attractive young drug salespeople in your doctor's waiting room tell them to look for some honest work.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Dr. L. G. F. on April 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Healy has written extensively about the pharmaceutical industry, and this book is one of his best. He gives a short history of how drugs became such big business, and why the incentives are wrong for new drug development. Healy is by no means anti-drug, but he objects to the use of too many drugs and of drugs that have questionable value to the patient. Everyone should be aware of the information in this book before filling their next prescription.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Bg on April 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Working as a psychiatrist in different countries, systems and settings as I did during the last 25 years has taught me that nothing is ever written in stone. What is considered safe and effective in one place may be looked at as harmful or useless in another. Psychiatry is definitively not an exact science and working with human beings' sufferings often needs more creativity than rigid guidelines. When working as a community psychiatrist we learn very rapidly the limits of what we were taught in academic forums and research literature. Reading David Healy's book comforted me in something that patients (our co-partners in the difficult business of healing bruised souls) had convinced me of a long time ago: how much they know and how carefully we need to listen to them ...

David Healy is a serious man. As a caring clinician and internationally recognized expert in pharmacology, epidemiology and the history of psychiatry, this Irish professor may be reminiscent of both Sherlock Holmes and Atticus Finch.
His latest book, Pharmageddon, is a riveting detective story, a meticulous account of the troubling evolution of the practice of medicine and a compelling plea for a better protection of those that medicine is supposed to serve. It is a must-read for all of us. Beware though, that, as a physician or as someone who will sooner or later be a client of the healthcare system, you may be in for a painful ride. It takes only a few pages to realize that, if you are a health care provider, you may already have become, willingly of not, an accomplice of a system that has slowly but surely drifted from the shores of a "First do no harm" philosophy to shores covered by a growing number of victims of poorly or overly prescribed medications.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr on June 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As an experienced physcian I wished Dr Healey had written this book years ago. From drugs that worked like penicllin we have been guided to accept drugs that by statistical maniuplation have often only a slight beneficial effect. It should be included in a course in medical schools,it would save lives,reduce health costs and break the concept that if it is new it must be better.
Dr A.R
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Art and Soul on September 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who is using pharmaceuticals, might need them in the future or has a loved one who needs to take them needs to read this book. People who pay taxes that cover the costs of these drugs might also like to read it to find out whose pocket your money is going into. Its absolutely shocking to learn how pharmaceutical companies manipulate drug trials, science and statistics to make it look like these drugs are safe and how the government turns a blind eye to what's going on in return for some kick backs. There's much more.

Protect yourself by reading this book. I had to get it through Amazon because it seems to be permanently "unavailable"in Canadian bookstores....Hmmmm. How could that happen?
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