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Pharmageddon [Hardcover]

by David Healy
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 12, 2012 0520270983 978-0520270985 1
This searing indictment, David Healy’s most comprehensive and forceful argument against the pharmaceuticalization of medicine, tackles problems in health care that are leading to a growing number of deaths and disabilities. Healy, who was the first to draw attention to the now well-publicized suicide-inducing side effects of many anti-depressants, attributes our current state of affairs to three key factors: product rather than process patents on drugs, the classification of certain drugs as prescription-only, and industry-controlled drug trials. These developments have tied the survival of pharmaceutical companies to the development of blockbuster drugs, so that they must overhype benefits and deny real hazards. Healy further explains why these trends have basically ended the possibility of universal health care in the United States and elsewhere around the world. He concludes with suggestions for reform of our currently corrupted evidence-based medical system.

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Pharmageddon + Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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




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: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a medical classic the day it ws published... 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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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Expose 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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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only knew... 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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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Dr
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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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!!!! 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pharmaggedon is a must read.
This is a masterful book, addressing a very serious problem.
According to the author...
The pharmaceutical industry has been waging a subversive campaign against unbiased... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alan D'Augustine
5.0 out of 5 stars How do they sleep at night?
This is one of many books I've read recently about the sad state of affairs in what has become our medical-industrial complex. Read more
Published 3 months ago by C. S. Huddle
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener on Big Pharma
In spite of a weak and roundabout opening, it picks up nicely. It is, hands down, the most comprehensive account of how the good idea of evidence-based medicine morphed into a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nathan Shachar
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
With 30 pages of references and impeccable medical and psychopharmological credentials, Dr. David Healy gets to the root of our problems with drugs and and research. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Darryl Willis
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Pharm’s wants versus the Health Needs of the Rest of Us
Big Pharm’s wants versus the Health Needs of the Rest of Us
Review : Pharmageddon, by David Healy
This book explains why, despite paying the highest costs among developed... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jerry Woolpy
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone needs to read this
everyone needs to read this book to understand the medicines they are being exposed to, so that they can begin in the smallest way to make some educated choices. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Victor Kiarsis
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
I started this book by highlighting the critical parts. I soon discovered this would not work as all I would end up with was a yellow book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jose Webloes
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable book
I have conducted drug research and taught courses in psychopharmacology for the past 43 years. Over this time, I have read criticisms of the drug mega-industry and psychiatry (in... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Scribe
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST!
Best book on the market by an author who obviously did his research. Highly recommend for anyone who thinks we pay too much for pharmaceuticals and thinks we are all becoming... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Writers Notebook
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth about modern medicine.
This is a brilliant book, and there should be more like it. The author speaks a critical truth about modern medicine: that "healthcare" has been taken over by the pharmaceutical... Read more
Published 12 months ago by T. O. Whitehead
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