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Poison Pills: The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal Hardcover – September 16, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031236959X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312369590
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“If medications had personalities, Vioxx would be that macho guy in a Hummer who just took your parking space (and the one next to it), who then gets out, smiling and talking on his cellphone. Touted as a 'super aspirin,' Vioxx was, for a time, the No. 1 pain medication in the world, backed by aggressive marketing to physicians and the public. How it got to be 'the single greatest drug safety catastrophe in the history of the world,' in the words of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official, is a fascinating story that’s told for the first time . . . in Nesi’s carefully researched chronicle of the Vioxx saga.”
--Calgary Herald

“For anyone with even a passing interest in the billions of pills we take every day, the pills we are coaxed, persuaded, urged and exhorted to consume with ever-increasing fervor by Big Pharma and its medical minions, and the roles that the Food and Drug Administration and our government play in this deadly game of pharmaceutical roulette, this book is a must-read.”
--Novus Medical Detox Centers

“Tom Nesi opens up the door to one of the most egregious chapters in the long and rarely heard history of the drug industry, which has been attempting to combat pain for centuries. In Poison Pills, Nesi sorts out who all the players were and how the public health was threatened. He then describes in depth how the FDA and other regulators were first overwhelmed and then fooled by the power of the drug lobby. Every citizen concerned with not only their own health, but the public’s well-being should read his book.”
--Richard J. Garfunkel, host of “The Advocates” – WVOX 1460 AM Radio, Westchester County, NY

“This is a great book . . . it reads like a mystery thriller."
--Dr. Ronald Hoffman, host of the nationally-syndicated radio program “Health Talk with Dr. Ronald Hoffman”

About the Author

Tom Nesi has been a pharmaceutical executive and medical industry insider for thirty years. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By CA booklover on September 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A riveting story, expertly told with lively narrative skill and dashes of humor as well as thorough documentation, "Poison Pills" is a vitally important book that casts new light on important issues surrounding health and medicine. The Vioxx scandal was a shocking abuse of power by one of the world's largest and most prestigious pharmaceutical companies--and the author makes it clear that the problems are not necessarily confined to Merck but may be a symptom of the pressures faced by all medical manufacturers. This book really makes you think and it's also highly entertaining, showing the human side of the story with a full range of emotions. Highly recommended to everyone!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pharma retiree on September 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Poison Pills" is not the book I thought it would be! It's nothing like
the "standard" pharmaceutical exposes. You can tell it really tells the
story from the inside. It sure isn't dry or dull. This is stuff you haven't
read before and it goes way beyond the story of Vioxx. Even if you've never
heard of the drug, you'll be fascinated by the behind the scenes corporate
and medical deals. One last thing. It is funny! Many stories are
entertaining. They are so outrageous, they must be true. No one is spared.
Caution: you might never take an aspirin after this!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pam M on September 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Poison Pills: The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal

I couldn't put this book down! Mr. Nesi thoroughly covers the story of the Vioxx drug scandal in a refreshingly honest way. I especially enjoyed the history of the pharmaceutical industry that he weaves into his story. I recommend this book to anyone in search of a great and informative read!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. HAMILTON on November 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
All I'd known about the whole Vioxx scandal was what I'd read in the Times up until this point, but I picked this up on a friend's recommendation and it was a fantastic read. A quick read, it had a compelling narrative that kept me going, but stayed away from too much commentary or hyperbole. The story was very clearly laid out with great insider e-mails and quotes. Of particular interest was the explanation of how the FDA was impotent and run by industry insiders under the Bush administration - sort of like the fox being put in charge of the hen-house!

Overall, would definitely recommend.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book to read. I found it enlightening and unbiased. It is fascinating to learn all about how today's pharmaceutical giants are the same companies that brought us wonder drags like cocaine and heroin. The story comes to life nicely as you meet characters like Dorthy Hammil, and a bunch of "famous" doctors all partying it up in luxury while patients are dying. This is a story that needed telling and Nesi does a great job giving you the facts in a well told story. Someone should really make a movie out of this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Adeoye Y. Olukotun MD on September 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The book Poison Pills reads like a a movie script. The author captures the inside story of the development of a drug as if he were a fly in the wall during the deliberations that led to some of the key decisions in the tragic story of Vioxx. The anecdotes and vignettes are sometimes amusing. The exaggerated caricature depictions of some of the players should provide some object lessons for those still engaged in the noble cause of bringing new and innovative pharmaceuticals into the world. Poison Pills reads like fiction but I wish it were so.
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