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The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It Paperback – August 9, 2005
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“Dr. Angell’s case is tough, persuasive, and troubling.”
—The New York Times
“In what should serve as the Fast Food Nation of the drug industry, Angell… presents a searing indictment of ‘big pharma’ as corrupt and corrupting.”
“The Truth About the Drug Companies is a sober, clear-eyed attack on the excesses of drug company power… a lucid, persuasive, and highly important book.”
—The Boston Sunday Globe
“Her prose is clear and readable… Angell does an excellent job [making] a convincing case against Big Pharma.”
“If you’ve ever suffered prescription drug sticker shock, Dr. Marcia Angell’s The Truth About the Drug Companies is the book for you.”
“In-depth and insightful”
—Rocky Mountain News
“Put your money on Angell. We need to know why drugs cost what they do, and we need to know how our physicians choose the drugs they give us.”
—St. Louis Post Dispatch
“Engaging and well-written”
—San Antonio Express-News
"Pharamceutical companies will need a new miracle pain reliever after the whipping they receive from Marcia Angell in her book….a starting point for serious discussion."
--The Hartford Courant
"If informed criticism contains the sharpest stings, author Marcia Angell's jolting indictument of 'Big Pharma' might just be enough to pierce the beast's hide."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune
From the Inside Flap
During her two decades at "The "New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell had a front-row seat on the appalling spectacle of the pharmaceutical industry. She watched drug companies stray from their original mission of discovering and manufacturing useful drugs and instead become vast marketing machines with unprecedented control over their own fortunes. She saw them gain nearly limitless influence over medical research, education, and how doctors do their jobs. She sympathized as the American public, particularly the elderly, struggled and increasingly failed to meet spiraling prescription drug prices. Now, in this bold, hard-hitting new book, Dr. Angell exposes the shocking truth of what the pharmaceutical industry has become-and argues for essential, long-overdue change.
Currently Americans spend a staggering $200 billion each year on prescription drugs. As Dr. Angell powerfully demonstrates, claims that high drug prices are necessary to fund research and development are unfounded: The truth is that drug companies funnel the bulk of their resources into the marketing of products of dubious benefit. Meanwhile, as profits soar, the companies brazenly use their wealth and power to push their agenda through Congress, the FDA, and academic medical centers.
Zeroing in on hugely successful drugs like AZT (the first drug to treat HIV/AIDS), Taxol (the best-selling cancer drug in history), and the blockbuster allergy drug Claritin, Dr. Angell demonstrates exactly how new products are brought to market. Drug companies, she shows, routinely rely on publicly funded institutions for their basic research; they rig clinical trials to make their products look better than they are; and they use their legions of lawyers to stretch out government-granted exclusive marketing rights for years. They also flood the market with copycat drugs that cost a lot more than the drugs they mimic but are no more effective.
The American pharmaceutical industry needs to be saved, mainly from itself, and Dr. Angell proposes a program of vital reforms, which includes restoring impartiality to clinical research and severing the ties between drug companies and medical education. Written with fierce passion and substantiated with in-depth research, "The Truth About the Drug Companies is a searing indictment of an industry that has spun out of control.
"From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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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?! How much failure on the part of the criminals in congress does it take to understand that consumers (grandmothers--see earlier review), not bureaucrats, are the solution to the "fix" here?
IF YOU"RE A PHYSICIAN, this is necessarily mandatory reading. You've been hood-winked. More than that, your professional reputation and principles have been hijacked and perverted and you may very well have no clue as to the depths to which the industry has sunk to get its way at your expense. You will not practice the same after reading this book.
Either way, America is consuming an unspeakable amount of dangerous drugs that often do more harm than good. The amount of spending in advertising to counter the overwhelming negative results is just the beginning.
Marcia has done a great job exposing how the trust of the American public has be violated in favor of profit.
Before you give your children anything, study the actual benefits vs contradictions. Doctors are being pushed into this box as well, so finding one that is well informed and truthful is a must.
I'm not against some drugs, used with prudence and knowledge. This book exposes those who have clearly crossed the line.