Truth about the Drug Companies How They Deceive Us and What to Do about It

ISBN-10: 0375760946
ISBN-13: 9780375760945
Edition: 2005
Authors: Marcia Angell
List price: $17.00 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/9/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

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.

Marcia Angell is the executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Introduction : drugs are different
The $200 billion colossus
The creation of a new drug
How much does the pharmaceutical industry really spend on R & D?
Just how innovative is this industry?
"Me-too" drugs - the main business of the pharmaceutical industry
How good are new drugs?
The hard sell ... lures, bribes, and kickbacks
Marketing masquerading as education
Marketing masquerading as research
Patent games - stretching out monopolies
Buying influence - how the industry makes sure it gets its way
Is the party over?
How to save the pharmaceutical industry - and get our money's worth

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