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The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It
by Marcia Angell [edit]

The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It
********** 10 Stars!
Price: US$ 16.97, Available worldwide on Amazon.com
Check Availability from: Canada or from United Kingdom
ISBN: 0375508465

Description

From Publishers Weekly
In what should serve as the Fast Food Nation of the drug industry, Angell, former editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, presents a searing indictment of "big pharma" as corrupt and corrupting: of Congress, through huge campaign contributions; of the FDA, which is funded in part by the very companies it oversees; and, perhaps most shocking, of members of the medical profession and its institutions. Angell delineates how the drug giants, such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca, pay physicians to prescribe their products with gifts, junkets and marketing programs disguised as "professional education." According to Angell, the cost of marketing, both to physicians and consumers, far outweighs expenditures on research and development, though drug makers invoke R&D as the reason drug prices are so high. In fact, says Angell, with combined 2002 profits of $35.9 billion for the Fortune 500's top 10 drug companies, the drug industry is America's most profitable by far, thanks to disproportionately high prices, generous tax breaks and manipulation of patents to extend exclusive marketing rights to blockbuster drugs like Prozac and Claritin. Angell mounts a powerful case (and offers specific suggestions) for reform of this essential industry—a case worth bearing in mind as "big pharma" continues to oppose importing cheaper drugs from Canada.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
Angell, former editor in chief of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, pulls no punches in her criticism of the big pharmaceautical companies. She profiles big "pharma" as one of the most bloated, secretive, self-serving industries--one that uses government payoffs, lures, bribes, and kickbacks to maintain its practice of grossly overcharging the public for products that are increasingly less than innovative. Under the current situation, the main pipeline of new products are mostly "me-too" drugs-- drugs very similar to successful ones already on the market yet patentable as new entities so that the companies can continue to charge premium prices for existing treatments as the older drugs move to generic status. The problem is that these new drugs may be less safe and effective than the older ones, since to get approval, drug companies only have to show that they work, not that they are better than an existing drug. Fortunately the public is angry about the current situation and is beginning to demand reform, to which Angell provides a sensible, enlightened approach. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Marcia Angell (Biography)

Marcia Angell, M. D., is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine on June 30, 2000. A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, she trained in both internal medicine and anatomic pathology and is a board-certified pathologist. She joined the editorial staff of the New England Journal of Medicine in 1979, became Executive Editor in 1988, and Editor-in-Chief in 1999.

Dr. Angell writes frequently in professional journals and the popular media on a wide range of topics, particularly medical ethics, health policy, the nature of medical evidence, the interface of medicine and the law, and care at the end of life. Her critically acclaimed book, Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case, was published in June, 1996, by W. W. Norton & Company. In addition, Dr. Angell is co-author, with Dr. Stanley Robbins and, later, Dr. Vinay Kumar, of the first three editions of the textbook, Basic Pathology. She also wrote chapters in several books dealing with ethical issues.

Dr. Angell is a member of the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences, the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Medical Society, and is a Master of the American College of Physicians. In 1997, Time magazine named Marcia Angell one of the 25 most influential Americans. 

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