Against the Odds: The Story of AIDS Drug Development, Politics And Profits

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HarperCollins Canada, Limited, 1992 - Political Science - 314 pages
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Against the Odds is the most important book yet written about the quest for a cure and treatments for AIDS. Peter Arno and Karyn Feiden cut through the complex issues to tell the tragic, inspiring story behind the scenes of the AIDS crisis--how a diverse group of extraordinary people banded together to fight bureaucracy and greed to save lives. AIDS has been called the greatest public health menace of our time. But political and bottom-line agendas, coupled with fear, racism, and anti-gay sentiments, have made the battle against it a painful uphill struggle. During the first five years of the epidemic, Ronald Reagan never once uttered the word "AIDS" in public. George Bush has still not seen fit to announce a comprehensive AIDS policy. Ten years after the onset of the epidemic, some 130,000 American lives--more than twice the toll claimed by the Vietnam War--have been lost. Yet AZT and ddI remain the only approved drugs specifically intended to attack HIV, the virus widely believed to cause AIDS; and these are not cures by any stretch of the imagination. Against the Odds is an astonishing book. Sweeping in scope, rich with personal drama, it tells the whole story of the development, testing, and marketing of such drugs as AZT, ddI, ganciclovir, pentamidine, and Compound Q, to name a few. Against the Odds is the tale of government officials and agencies who have delayed the development of life-saving and life-prolonging drugs, and of others who have bent and changed their own rules to get treatments more swiftly to patients desperate for them. It is also the story of pharmaceutical companies: some have gouged the public to enhance their profit pictures; others have taken a chance thatcompassion will pay off better than greed. Most of all, Against the Odds is the story of the activist and patient communities who have informed themselves about this epidemic more fully than any community ever has and who have now altered the course of government policy toward AIDS and other diseases with their creative, effective, and often heroic tactics. Against the Odds tells a powerful and moving story that urgently needs to be told. The way we view health care can never be the same again.

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Against the odds: the story of AIDS drug development, politics, and profits

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This is a fascinating account of how government and drug company bureaucracies have held up the development of such life-saving and life-prolonging AIDS drugs as AZT, ddI, bactrine, pentamidine ... Read full review


Unlikely Heroes
The Search for Magic Bullets
The FDA and the Public Interest

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