The Truth About The Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us And What To Do About It

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Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005 - Medical - 319 pages
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During her two decades at The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell had a front-row seat on the appalling spectacle of the pharmaceutical industry. She watched drug companies stray from their original mission of discovering and manufacturing useful drugs and instead become vast marketing machines with unprecedented control over their own fortunes. She saw them gain nearly limitless influence over medical research, education, and how doctors do their jobs. She sympathized as the American public, particularly the elderly, struggled and increasingly failed to meet spiraling prescription drug prices. Now, in this bold, hard-hitting new book, Dr. Angell exposes the shocking truth of what the pharmaceutical industry has become–and argues for essential, long-overdue change.

Currently Americans spend a staggering $200 billion each year on prescription drugs. As Dr. Angell powerfully demonstrates, claims that high drug prices are necessary to fund research and development are unfounded: The truth is that drug companies funnel the bulk of their resources into the marketing of products of dubious benefit. Meanwhile, as profits soar, the companies brazenly use their wealth and power to push their agenda through Congress, the FDA, and academic medical centers.

Zeroing in on hugely successful drugs like AZT (the first drug to treat HIV/AIDS), Taxol (the best-selling cancer drug in history), and the blockbuster allergy drug Claritin, Dr. Angell demonstrates exactly how new products are brought to market. Drug companies, she shows, routinely rely on publicly funded institutions for their basic research; they rig clinical trials to make their products look better than they are; and they use their legions of lawyers to stretch out government-granted exclusive marketing rights for years. They also flood the market with copycat drugs that cost a lot more than the drugs they mimic but are no more effective.

The American pharmaceutical industry needs to be saved, mainly from itself, and Dr. Angell proposes a program of vital reforms, which includes restoring impartiality to clinical research and severing the ties between drug companies and medical education. Written with fierce passion and substantiated with in-depth research, The Truth About the Drug Companies is a searing indictment of an industry that has spun out of control.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The truth about the drug companies: how they deceive us and what to do about it

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With the recent controversy over Medicare reform for prescription drugs, there couldn't be a better time for a coherent book on the state of the pharmaceutical industry. Angell, the former editor in ... Read full review

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A really good and innovative perspective about the bussines of drug companies.


The 200 Billion Colossus
The Creation of a New Drug
Ilow Ivluch Does the Pharmaceutical Industry
just How Innovative ls This Industry? I1
How Good Are New Drugs?
Marketing Masquerading as Education
Marketing Masquerading as Research
Patent GamesStretching Out Monopolies I 73
Buying InfluenceHow the Industry Makes Sure
ls the Party Over?
How to Save the Pharmaceutical lndustryAnd
The Saga of Vioxx and the COX2
Notes Z 79

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About the author (2005)

Former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine and now a member of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Social Medicine, Marcia Angell is a nationally recognized authority in the field of health policy and medical ethics and an outspoken critic of the health care system. Time magazine named her one of the twenty-five most influential people in America. Dr. Angell is the author of Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case.

From the Hardcover edition.

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