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Big Pharma Hardcover – 16 Jan 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (16 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845291395
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845291396
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 296,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The book will no doubt pose some challenging questions to consumers, healthcare professionals, regulatory companies and drug companies themselves. (Pharmaceutical Technology Europe)

Law rightly touches on the crisis in research and development by the big companies, the risks of unknown side effects of drugs and the importance of the placebo effect. (Financial Times)

'Jacky Law, a journalist who has reported on health care for 25 years, sets out in this important book the story of a monster that has grown in our midst so quickly we have yet to grasp the implications.'

We need to seize back control of our medical destinies, and this book's great strength is that it inspires us to do just that. (Sunday Times (Culture))

'If you read this book, you'll ask yourself serious questions about every pill you take, whether it's a beta-blocker or an aspirin. You'll think: "Is this good for me? Or is it good for them?" Evening Standard

'[An] excellent treatise on how major pharmaceutical companies dictate which healthcare problems are researched, publicised and provided for.'

A highly readable synthesis of evidence and commentary to argue how and why the pharmaceutical industry fails to address healthcare issues that really bother people. (British Medical Journal)

Book Description

Taking the reader on a journey through the pharmaceutical business, the author shows how the public is concerned about conventional medicine. She tells a story of regulatory failure, high prices, betrayal of the public interest and growing awareness that things could be different. She urges us not to be passive consumers, but be informed citizens.

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Format: Hardcover
In the words of the author, it's the pharmaceutical industry's 'fiduciary duty' to put profit before patients. That is the cold harsh fact which informs every action taken by the drug companies, and every example of chicanery meticulously outlined in this book. For the consumer -- us, the patients -- those cold harsh facts make chilling reading.
Here's a sampler. Drug companies pay celebrities to name-drop drugs on tv shows. They fund 'patient organisations' to agitate governments and regulators into allowing the latest and most expensive drugs to be subscribed. They encourage the 'medicalisation' of what we previously saw as minor health problems that never before required treatment. They have been accused of going further, with a ploy to 'create the disease and then market the drug to cure it'. So-called female sexual dysfunction is an oft-quoted example -- a catch-all disorder which can be diagnosed with a range of symptoms from physical pain to just not being up for it on a Saturday night. Welcome to Planet Pharma.
But Big Pharma doesn't just put the medicines manufacturers in the frame. There are those charged with regulating it, who are often inextricably linked to the drug makers, and governments, and health insurers, and consumers themselves. Those with ill health and, more eye-openingly, what the author calls 'the worried well'. Does that ring any bells with you? Who in the developed world doesn't come under that category nowadays?
Big Pharma is a book of reportage, a beautifully crafted, painstakingly researched and stunningly informative piece.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good read with useful information on the tactics of Big Pharma in promoting their products and medicalising society. Although not written in an academic (detached) fashion and sometimes reverting to activism, I still found this book a good primer although there are now more updated alternatives available.
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By Ian Shine VINE VOICE on 27 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book can be summarised in a few lines.
Big Pharma's financial motivations do not lie easily with the public's wish for better and cheaper healthcare. An interesting point, but one that can be found in any industry: the industry tries to palm something off on you by telling you that it will be beneficial for you (although, as is covered in the book, pharma companies have to do this in a roundabout way because of restrictions on direct-to-consumer advertising) when in fact it is nowhere near as beneficial as they made out - that new TV didn't transcend your viewing experience to a higher plain, did it? Obviously with pharmaceuticals this can be a slightly more critical situation, but I don't think such a point deserves to be padded out over over 250 pages; although maybe it would deserve to be if it was done well.
The standard of writing is poor (i've read catalgoues with more narrative skill) and the standing of proofing is just as bad. The same points are repeated two or three times within a chapter; acronyms are sometimes used two or three times before their meaning is fully expounded, and the author's massive reverence for Scrip does not carry much weight, however respected the magazine might be, because she used to work for them. If this book is supposed to be an objective documentation of the facts, why do I need to be told that Scrip is 'the pharmaceutical industry bible'?
There are some interesting things in here for someone who knows little about the business (hence the three stars, rather than two), but for anyone above the novice level this will provide little satisfaction.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was the book I ordered, unfortunstely it was not the one I wanted! I wanted Bad Pharma. I will of course read this and see, my bad. Doh! The two stars is prem because I have only read a very small part as I am reading The Long Mars first, that will be up to par I am certain.
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