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Devalued and Distrusted: Can the Pharmaceutical Industry Restore Its Broken Image? [Paperback]

John L. LaMattina

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Book Description

19 Feb 2013 1118487478 978-1118487471 1
An expert′s view on solving the challenges confronting today′s pharmaceutical industry Author John LaMattina, a thirty–year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry and former president of Pfizer′s Global R&D Division, is internationally recognized as an expert on the pharmaceutical industry. His first book, Drug Truths: Dispelling the Myths About Pharma R&D, was critically acclaimed for clearing up misconceptions about the pharmaceutical industry and providing an honest account of the contributions of pharmaceutical research and development to human health and well–being. As he toured the country discussing Drug Truths, Dr. LaMattina regularly came across people who were filled with anger, accusing the pharmaceutical industry of making up diseases, hiding dangerous side effects, and more. This book was written in response to that experience, critically examining public perceptions and industry realities. Starting with "4 Secrets that Drug Companies Don′t Want You to Know," Devalued and Distrusted provides a fact–based account of how the pharmaceutical industry works and the challenges it faces. It addresses such critical issues as: Why pharmaceutical R&D productivity has declined Where pharmaceutical companies need to invest their resources What can be done to solve core health challenges, including cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases How the pharmaceutical industry can regain public trust and resuscitate its image Our understanding of human health and disease grows daily; however, converting science into medicine is increasingly challenging. Reading Devalued and Distrusted, you′ll not only gain a greater appreciation of those challenges, but also the role that the pharmaceutical industry currently plays and can play in solving those challenges. Get to know the author: Read an interview with John LaMattina or watch a video on ChemistryViews! Interview:  John LaMattina: 30 Years in Pharma Video:  Can the Pharmaceutical Industry Restory its Broken Image?

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"Oz should invite LaMattina back on his show.  Since LaMattina treats all concerns respectfully, Oz needn’t worry about feeling devalued or distrusted."  ( Barron′s , 5 May 2014) “This is an honest book by an insider who believes in the basic good that the industry does.”  ( The Quarterly Review of Biology , 1 September 2013) “Summing Up:  Recommended.  General audiences.”  ( Choice , 1 September 2013) “For those more loosely associated or aspiring to work with in it, I particularly recommend this book as a balanced and informative read on the pressures the industry faces. It should also provide the basis for more reasoned argument and forewarn anyone else potentially ambushed by a TV show.”  ( ChemMedChem , 19 July 2013) “That said, the suggestions made by LaMattina for improvements in productivity and transparency are timely, and the book makes interesting if unexciting reading.”  ( Chemistry & Industry , 1 June 2013) “John LaMattina (ex–head of Pfizer′s global R&D) has a new book out about the industry, called Devalued and Distrusted .  He tells Pharmalot that he got the idea to write a sequel to his earlier book, Drug Truths , when he appeared on the "Dr. Oz" show.”  ( In The Pipeline , 1 December 2012)  


“ … the book is laden with so many facts, critical insights and pearls of wisdom that it deserves the attention of a wide audience, from lay people to professionals in R&D, medicine, government, business and mass media. Dr. LaMatina has performed a public service by drawing on his broad experience to clarify the issues and the many challenges that have to be faced if progress in therapeutic molecular medicine is to continue, and to illuminate the ongoing tensions that are bound to arise with ever increasing risks and costs in pharma and biotech R&D, never–perfect new medicines and constantly rising consumer expectations and government involvement.”— E J Corey , Harvard University

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take Good Care of Yourself 22 Jun 2013
By Jersey Mike - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Are you, like me, moving on in years, exercising less, taking more pills for more conditions, and beginning to get worried about where all that is taking you?

Read a half page anywhere in this book, and I think you'll agree the author knows his stuff. He gives you the inside story in full and readable detail about the issues and the facts affecting important drug decisions that you may have to make.

Like you and I, the drug industry is going through a difficult passage as the cost of medical care rises and new controls are applied to address that. If you'd like to be informed about the tough choices that you and the drug industry are now being forced to make for the sake of your pocketbook, I encourage you to read this book.

You probably won't ever get to sit down and hear straight talk from a retired drug industry president of significant stature. Reading this book is the next best thing.

I only wish that the publisher had found it a better title!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big pharma - $ and sense in R & D and those questions Dr. Oz wanted to know about ... 7 July 2013
By D. Fowler - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
John LaMattina's lengthy career in the pharmaceutical industry had prepared him for close encounters of many kinds, but nothing could have prepared him for his encounter with Dr. Oz. Perhaps it was ignorance that led him to believe that his appearance on one of Dr. Oz's television segments would be relatively benign, but he had another thing coming. Next time, no doubt, LaMattina will ask questions. A lot of them. Undoubtedly shock set in once he realized that he, along with big pharma, was the target of the day. Monstrous villains, evil money-mongers who were only out for one thing ... themselves and that buck. Right on down the yellow brick road LaMattina went in an effort to explain away the "Four Secrets That Drug Companies Don't Want You to Know."

The statements, of course, were inflammatory and LaMattina answered them as best he could. The audience reaction clearly indicated that the questions needed further explanation. This book is a result of those four questions. I had only one problem with this book and that was to keep people from walking off with it before I had finished it. It is not a lengthy tome and in fact it can be read in a day if one is so inclined. It is written with the layman in mind, yet has sufficient references for those who wish to explore the topic further. The risks to the public, who may have decided to discard prescribed medications as a result of the show, were plentiful. LaMattina lamented that "oftentimes diet and exercise are not sufficient to reduce the risk of these diseases [diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, etc.]; and at some point specific medicines may be required to restore a person's health to prevent long-term consequences of the disease." (p. 15)

LaMattina decided to discuss many of the issues big pharma faces, particularly in R & D. The first thought that came to mind was that he would be biased wholly toward pharma, but I found the discussion to be extremely informative without being inflammatory. He fully acknowledges the shortcomings of the industry, but also is quick to point our "the value the biopharmacceutical industry adds to improving the world's health." (p.58) Historically, the discussion mainly focuses on the last decade, but has snippets relative to what is going on today. I found his insight to be invaluable, particularly because of his insider view of the pharmaceutical industry as the former president of Pfizer's Global R & D Division.

I felt LaMattina sat down and asked himself those difficult questions we all are curious about. I ended up being quite enamored with this book and learned much more than I ever thought I would (or would want to) about the big pharma and R & D. The writing was in what I call a conversational format. The let-me-tell-you-about-what-I-know attitude had me mesmerized. I definitely came away feeling more comfortable with the industry and LaMattina left few stones unturned. It was probably a good thing that he never asked what Dr. Oz's segment was about or we wouldn't have this amazing book.

"Four Secrets That Drug Companies Don't Want You to Know."

1. Drug companies underestimate dangerous side effects.
2. Drug companies control much of the information your doctor gets.
3. You're often prescribed drugs that you don't need.
4. Drugs target the symptoms, not the cause.


Drug Companies Underestimate Dangerous Side Effects
Drug Companies Control Much of the Information Your Doctor Gets
You're Often Prescribed Drugs That You Don't Need
Drugs Target the Symptoms, Not the Cause


Impact of Mergers on R&D Productivity
Heightened FDA Requirements for NDAs
Higher Hurdles Set by Payers


Diseases of the Brain
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Bacterial Infections


The Views of Others
Pharma's Blockbuster Mentality Needs to Change
Can "Predictive Innovation" Lead to Greater Success Rates?
Would Royalties Make Scientists More Productive?
Will Drug Repositioning Help Fill the R&D Pipeline?
Consultants Don't Always Have the Facts
Personal Views
Discovery Must Focus on Productivity
Does Size Help or Hinder R&D Productivity?
To Outsource or Not to Outsource? That's the Pharma R&D Question
Big Pharma Early Research Collaborations


Illegal Detailing of Drugs
Pharmaceutical Companies Should Drop TV Ads
The Need for Greater Transparency
How Committed Is Big Pharma to Rare Diseases?
Pharmaceutical Companies and Philanthropy
Pharma Needs to Have Its Scientists Tell Their Stories


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drugs are Good-and Getting Better! 24 July 2013
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Big Pharma", like "big oil", "big box retailers", and "big tobacco", is constantly demonized in the media and in popular culture (seen 'The Constant Gardener'?). Dr John LaMattina, former head of R&D for Pfizer, makes the case that big pharma is both unfairly demonized, and has much room for improvement.

My only issue is that Dr LaMattina does not extensively discuss the role of governments (primarily US) in using pharma as a scapegoat for poor policy decisions in healthcare.

A quick, enjoyable read for anyone looking to learn a bit more about the role of pharma in society.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adequate defense of the pharmaceutical industry 2 July 2013
By Neal C. Reynolds - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm one of those who seldom use any pharmaceutical product, but have felt that the industry might be getting a bum rap from the public. Certainly there's an aspect of greed in the business as there is in every business, but many illnesses have become treatable during my life time thanks to these products. The author here does a good job of standing up for the companies while acknowledging that improvement is still definitely called for. A book definitely worth your time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From the pharmaceutical companys point of view 23 Jun 2013
By Herblady22 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
John LaMattina is a thirty-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry and former president of Pfizer's Global R&D Division, an ultimate insider of the pharmaceutical world. While there is much I dislike about the pharmaceutical industry, it is very interesting to read his account.

However his critique of traditional remedies is fraught with inaccuracies. For example the use of Ginkgo biloba leaves for cognitive impairment is not a traditional use- the Chinese never significantly used ginkgo leaves and this use was derived from the modern German pharmaceutical industry which is far more open to botanical treatments than the US. While it showed little effect for people of normal cognition as he rightly points out, smaller trials show some advantage for people with Alzheimer's.

He points out that cysteine has a weaker effect at stopping smoking than Chantix, which is true. But unlike Chantix it doesn't have the psychopathological effects that I have seen in my own family members who attempted to use it to stop smoking. While he never points out the serious side effects of Chantix, now (but not initially) in the required list of side effects read in television commercials (always listen with your eyes closed to avoid distracting calming pictures) a lower efficacy is better than iatrogenic mental disease.

He is also a strong proponent of statins, citing much lower side effects than I see clinically (which makes me suspicious of the statistics cited.) But since statins can cause diabetes, muscle dysfunction and can clog liver CYP450 liver pathways, prescribing them is not the slam dunk he believes.

Much more interesting are his suggestions for managing R&D and improving the reputation of the industry by stopping the illegal detailing of drugs to doctors for unapproved uses, pulling all television ads (the side effect list is one reason why), engaging in greater transparency (the drug lawyers will howl), greater commitment to rare diseases and greater publicity of the stories of the science of drug discovery. He also decries mergers and acquisitions of companies researching new drugs- corporate cultures often are different and scientists are laid off to avoid duplication, usually to the detriment of R&D.
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