Pharmageddon Paperback – 19 Apr 2013
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"Healy's contrarian streak and sharpness make this a disturbing, well-documented indictment that echoes many others in recent years, and one worth heeding."--"Publishers Weekly"
"Powerful. . . . Healy exposes the secrets that enable drug companies to circumvent protections. . . . And he also offers a solution."--"Human Givens"
From the Inside Flap
"This meticulously documented book makes extraordinary claims with far-reaching intellectual and practical ramifications. It is the most powerful critique of the contemporary medical-industrial complex that I know."--Andrew T. Scull, author of Hysteria and Madness: A Very Short Introduction"This book shines a bright light on the pharmaceutical industry (and American healthcare) in the same way that Silent Spring called out the chemical industry and Unsafe at Any Speed called out the automobile industry. Pharmageddon is Healy's most important book to date. It will make a real contribution toward healing our sick system of pharmaceutical-driven medicine and helping doctors provide better care for their patients."--Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, author of The Estrogen Elixir and On the Pill "In this startling book, David Healy argues that 'evidence-based' medicine--and a healthy dose of corrupt science--has led modern medicine off a cliff. His book is provocative, challenging, and informative, and ultimately it serves as a powerful manifesto for rethinking modern medicine."--Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America "Like a good detective story, Pharmageddon weaves together the history of modern medicine, the evolution of clinical trials and statistical analyses, changes in international patent laws, privatization of clinical research, blurring of the line between academics and industry, and the enabling role of medical journals. If you want to learn how to protect yourself (or your patients) from medical commercialism and how medical practice can be re-directed back toward its true mission, this book is a must read."--John Abramson, author of Overdosed America
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Dr David Healy, a Professor of Psychiatry at Cardiff University and the author of many publications, has painstakingly chartered the history of pharmaceutical wares and shows, in many instances, how `evidence-based' medicines aren't really evidence based at all. In fact, quite the contrary.
Clinical trials that were initially designed to find faults in a product have found their way into a world where time (and money) is of the essence and where trials carried out today appear to put the onus on the patient to report any faults in the product...after it has been granted a licence by the regulatory bodies...sometimes many years after its release into the market.
Medical journals, in which prescription drugs are often promoted as being safe and effective, have also played a huge role in the prescribing of drugs, that are, in many instances, not safe or effective at all.
Healy explains why this is so in a carefully crafted and extensively researched book that throws light on the internal misgivings of a complex industry where kickbacks and ghostwritten material are commonplace.
His walk through history and to present will leave the reader, be they professional or patient, in no doubt that Pharmageddon is just around the corner and we are, indeed, in our end days of pharmaceutical control and manipulation.
Pharmageddon is not a critique of the pharmaceutical per se but it does show how the dollar has become the main objective opposed to helping a patient battle an illness with drugs that, on many occasions, make the illness worse or, indeed, create a new illness for patients to deal with.
Many side effects to prescription drugs go unreported, more often than not those side effects are seen by healthcare professionals as a need to prescribe more drugs because they fail to see that the medications are actually making matters worse. Moreover, these same healthcare professionals are visited by pharmaceutical reps who, after leaving free gifts, tell them that their drugs are better than others, proving efficacy by pointing to opinions given by respected thought leaders that have published papers in medical journals showing how safe and effective the drug is.
It's a marketing strategy played out to perfection by an industry whose promotional tools include marketing an illness before the product, to reel in prospective buyers of a future product.
The launch of Pharmageddon comes on top of Healy's new website, RxISK, a domain that offers a reporting system for patients and doctors to report adverse reactions caused by a myriad of pharmaceutical products.
It is only by reading Healy's book and using reporting systems such as Rxisk that the wheels of Pharmageddon can grind to a halt and that the concept of treating patients can return to the days of patient care rather than pharmaceutical profit.
He manages to deliver insights without becoming bogged down in the (often) inscrutable details of the science, and the reader requiring a degree in Biochemistry. I suggest that it should be made compulsary reading for all students of medicine. We might then make some better Doctors of them.
I have begun to wonder if my mother's initial Alzheimer's diagnosis took into account her anxiety medication or the post traumatic stress of WW2. She also took corticosteroids for asthma (anxiety induced or possibly as a result of working in the textile industry in the 1950s and 1960s and calcium medication for osteoporosis). She also took part in a clinical trial for Aricept.
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