Penguin Group US, Sep 20, 2011 - 448 pages
"Blood Feud" is the electrifying true tale of Big Pharma's power, regulatory weakness, and the terrifying vulnerability of millions of innocent patients.
The Drug: Procrit
An anti-anemia drug, this miraculous blood booster was one of the first biotech blockbusters. Developed by Amgen and licensed to a Johnson & Johnson company, the drug was sold by the two companies under the brand names Procrit, Epogen, and Arenesp.
The Underdog: Mark Duxbury, Drug Salesman
Duxbury was the gung-ho salesman for the new biotech division of J&J, an irrepressible character full of jokes. In the early 1990s, he set out to spread the benefits of Procrit, and became a true believer and top seller. But he and his peers were told to steal business from J&J's partner, Amgen. Then came the marketing studies, the off-invoice rebates, doctor payments, and off-label claims. Duxbury tried to stop some of these ruthless programs, but was fired on trumped-up charges. He tried anything to warn the public: testifying in a secret arbitration, joining a class action effort, and filing a whistleblower suit. But he was thwarted at nearly every turn-until the surprising end.
The Best Friend: Dean McClellan, Drug Legend
Dean McClellan was Duxbury's friendly rival. He tried to beat his buddy's record and wound up selling $170 million worth of the drug, becoming a legend. When Duxbury got fired, McClellan tried to distance himself. But as news of Procrit's deadly power started to surface, McClellan agreed to hand over thousands of damning documents and help his friend blow the whistle on J&J.
The Crusader: Jan Schlichtmann, Esq.
Remember Jan Schlichtmann, protagonist of the best-selling book and Oscar nominated movie, A Civil Action? When he learned of Duxbury's mission, he felt the old fire rising in his belly and signed on. Now, he's gambling on yet another long shot, trying to fight on behalf of not just millions of cancer patients, but for every American who overpays for health-care.
What people are saying - Write a review
This book was gut-wrenching. I work in the healthcare field and when I see patients that have been put on this drug I want so badly to alert them. Your physician is lining his pockets at your life's expense. How is it possible that this drug isn't banned - guess the lobbyists have unlimited resources to keep if off the FDA banned list. These poor patients with a limited life expectancy - if I told them or their families, would it make their remaining time more difficult. I don't know what to do so I do nothing, but weep. To the reviewer that said he 'lived it' and it was 'a story' - how insulting to the victims and families of this big pharma scam who suffered for their profits.
Could not put this book down! Great story, well-written, leaves the reader wanting more. Would love to know the status of the lawsuit now. As an attorney, this is an excellent legal thriller!