Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs

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Bantam Books, Jan 1, 1998 - Medical - 417 pages
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The genesis of this book is a personal experience: five years ago Fried's wife was given a pill--a new, heavily promoted antibiotic--for a minor infection, and six hours later wound up in the emergency room delirious, suffering a seizure, and with long-term neurological effects that have not yet fully worn off. As an investigative journalist, fried began to look into whether she was a victim of a pharmacological foul-up or was simply a statistical casualty in the war against disease. His series of articles on what he learned won the 1994 National Magazine Award for public interest journalism, and was the beginning of his full-scale probe of what he thinks of as "the other drug problem"--legal drugs and the largely unexplored problem of adverse drug reactions. The book investigates the legal drug culture--the international pharmaceutical industry, the FDA and its foreign counterparts, physicians, pharmacologists, researchers, and unwitting patients--and the flawed system, in which money and politics play a significant part, by which drugs are approved, marketed, and dispensed. In the course of his research he became a participant in the FDA's own investigation of the drug that so damaged his wife, has testified before its panels, and believes passionately that Congress' and the drug companies' lobbying to close down the FDA is a danger to every American who is prescribed a drug. An impeccably documented work of responsible muckraking, it is a book of major importance.

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BITTER PILLS: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A big, sprawling, highly personal inquiry into the making, approval, selling, and prescribing of drugs. When a single dose of the antiobiotic Floxin sent Diane Fried to the emergency room in delirium ... Read full review


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About the author (1998)

Stephen Fried, an award-winning investigative journalist and essayist, is the author of Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia and Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs. His work has appeared frequently in Vanity Fair, The Washington Post Magazine, Glamour, GQ, and Philadelphia magazine. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, author Diane Ayres.

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