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The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It Paperback – August 9, 2005
"The Industries of the Future"
Innovation expert Alec Ross explains what’s next for the world. Learn more.
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
First, for those of you who are not familiar with the healthcare industry, you should know that Ms. Angell is better capable of writing this masterpiece than any other author. She used to be Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, which is considered the most prestigious medical journal in the world. Don't let her credentials scare you off, though. This is easy reading and the book captures your attention like a true business thriller, only this is real life suspense.
But this volume is much more than simple entertainment. It is quite possibly one of the best analyses of the state of the U.S. drug industry today, complete with footnotes backing up every statement the author makes. You will learn not only that in 2002 the top ten drug companies made a higher profit than the other 490 businesses together on the Fortune 500 list. You will also understand how the drug industry has been able to achieve such a business success and how this success, as is often the case throughout history, will likely be their downfall.
A political tidal wave is building which will forever change both the industry and many of its infamous business practices. It is sad to note that the drug industry today is equally poorly regarded as the tobacco companies, and this is a testament not only to the shortsighted foolishness of their management, but also to the fact that you can fool some of the customer some of the time, but not all of them all the time.
So is there no hope? Well, Ms.Read more ›
Pharma's claim that high drug prices in the USA are required to support innovative research is shown with plausible data to be false. Most of the innovative drugs are actually discovered in universities, at the NIH and in small companies. Pharma's expenditures for research are shown to less than half of those for sales and marketing and lobbying. About 4/5 of research dollars spent are on "me-too" drugs that are minor variations on the original drug of each type, and thus of no value to ordinary citizens.
Dr. Angell explains how Big Pharma had patent law changed to obtain up to 23 years of protection. And how minor changes in the drug molecule have somehow become patentable in direct contravention of patent law that obvious minor changes are not patentable. Mere changes in formulation somehow became protected.
Dr. Angell confirms other reports that Big Pharma has the most powerful lobby in Washington, resulting in "...an iron grip on Congress and the White House". Big Pharma has had laws passed forbidding importation of its own drugs from outside the USA. There is no technical justification for this. Big Pharma has arranged that the Medicare Drug Benefit to become effective in a couple of years does not permit Medicare to negotiate prices. This is contrary to the ability of all other national health services in the world to negotiate prices.
Dr.Read more ›
I know Dr. Angells chapters on "The Hard Sell", "Marketing
Masquerading as Education", and "Marketing Masquerading as Research" are factual. I received training in all these methods
of bullying physicians into writing prescriptions for my products using many of the methods described in this book!
Dr. Angells descriptions of the pharmaceutical industries hold on politicians and the FDA is, again, completely correct.
Until politicians believe they may not be re-elected if they
continue to pander to "big pharma", it will never change.
If you are at all concerned about the outrageous price of prescriptions (and you should be), this is a must read. Better
yet, send a copy to your congressman, senators and state representatives. You can bet "big pharma" is squirming over this one!
From many other excellent reviews here you will know this is a must read! As one reviewer noted, it reads like a novel.....so the fiction lovers out there can delve into its details as well as those of us looking for factual marketing, political and current events reading.
Some additional notes: I'm a hospital-based anesthesiologist, and can assure readers that the tactics described herein are not limited to doctors' offices-type practices. This book does not address the techniques used by the industry to manipulate prices and costs within hospitals, but rest assured, the manipulations are there in a big way: limiting formularies, discontinuing effective and time-proven inexpensive drugs in favor of proprietary ones, marketing to non-physicians (accountants, CEO's) in a position to affect formulary decisions, etc.
There is a singular, but major criticism of this book, and that is the author's conclusion that more government involvement is one solution to reign in the excesses of the industry. This comes after the text's superior review of how government (FDA, NIH, congress-of course) has, in fact, been a major player in creating/perpetuating the problem in the first place! What a preposterous conclusion/how contradictory can one get? After recognizing, say Ted Bundy as a serial killer, would she want him chaperoning her teenage girls, using identical logic?!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everyone should read this book!! Not only is it well written, but it is written by someone with inside knowledge of the industry. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Andrew Abramson
Many of us in the medical profession are disheartened by the current situation as regards the pharmaceutical industry. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John A. Leraas
This book was not what I thought it would be. Infact it was the exact opposite. Marcia Angell only wants more victims taking these suicide pills. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Frank Marsh Pantalena
I have read books about the corruption before but this is the best. Dr Angell is a brilliant writer who can explain things that a layman can understand. Read morePublished 5 months ago by pharmguy
people need to know the truth & make use of accurate knowledge to protect themselves.Published 6 months ago by Merville Cratte
A concise summary of this key industry sector of the US health care system. Now I have a better understanding of the exact mechanics behind why the pharmaceutical industry is able... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Marvin Malek
A wonderful, HONEST disclosure from Marcia Angell, of Harvard Medical School and former Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sarah Hanviriyapunt
Anyone who subscribes to the pharmaceutical model of medicine should be reading this book. It really should be required reading for everyone out there but surely should be... Read morePublished 9 months ago by pmgeorgic
THIS IS FABULOUS. A telling tale about BIG PHARMA...not to be missed...and if you are
smart you will not support the pharmaceutical companies by buying their designer... Read more