Dispensing with the Truth: The Victims, the Drug Companies, and the Dramatic Story Behind the Battle Over Fen-Phen

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Macmillan, Aug 20, 2002 - Health & Fitness - 416 pages
2 Reviews
In 1996, a terrible epidemic began. Thousands of young women were stricken and many of them died. Some died quickly, within a few months; others lasted a couple of years. Many of those who didn't die suffered damage to their hearts and lungs, much of it permanent. Doctors suspected what the killer was. So did the Food and Drug Administration. The culprit was one-half of the most popular diet drug combination on the market, Fen-Phen. It was produced and sold by a powerful pharmaceutical company, Wyeth-Ayerst, a division of American Home Products.

Dispensing with the Truth is the gripping story of what the drug company really knew about its drugs, the ways it kept this information from the public, doctors, and the FDA and the massive legal battles that ensued as victims and their attorneys searched for the truth behind the debacle.

It tells the story of a healthy young woman, Mary Linnen, who took the drugs for only 23 days to lose weight before her wedding-and then died in the arms of her fiance a few months later. Hers was the first wrongful death suit filed and would become the most important single suit the company would face.

Award-winning investigative reporter Alicia Mundy provides a shocking and thoroughly riveting narrative account of the whole debacle. It is a stark look at the consequences of greed-and a cautionary tale for the future.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MaryRW - LibraryThing

This book will make you furious, and it will make you think twice (or three or four times) about the drugs you take, especially ones that have only recently been approved by the FDA. Alicia Mundy ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

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Selected pages

Contents

LIST OF CHARACTERS
xi
INTRODUCTION
1
CRUSADERS COWBOYS AND CANNIBALS
9
STRANGE BEDFELLOWS
33
MONEY CHANGERS IN THE TEMPLE
52
WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
86
THE SPIN DOCTORS
113
WHAT THEY KNEW AND WHEN THEY KNEW IT
127
THE TEXANS GET THEIR CHANCE
224
FEEDING FRENZY
252
THE ART OF WAR
284
THE BIG BANG
306
EPILOGUE
369
AFTERWORD
383
SOURCES
387
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
391

THE PAPER TRAIL
152
TALK IS CHEAP DEPOSITIONS ARE EXPENSIVE
174
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RATS AND LAWYERS
195

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About the author (2002)

Alicia Mundy is the senior editor and Washington bureau chief for Cableworld magazine. Her stories have appeared in U.S. News & World Report, GQ, Philadelphia magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Mediaweek, and The Washingtonian. Mundy is the winner of several journalism awards for commentary and investigative reporting. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

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