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The Truth about the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do about It Paperback – 9 Aug 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc; Reprint edition (9 Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375760946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375760945
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Dr. Angell's case is tough, persuasive, and troubling."
-- "The New York Times
"
" In what should serve as the "Fast Food Nation" of the drug industry, Angell... presents a searing indictment of ' big pharma' as corrupt and corrupting."
-- "Publishers Weekly
"" "The Truth About the Drug Companies" is a sober, clear-eyed attack on the excesses of drug company power... a lucid, persuasive, and highly important book."
-- "The Boston Sunday Globe
"" Her prose is clear and readable... Angell does an excellent job [making] a convincing case against Big Pharma."
-- "Chicago Sun-Times
"
" If you've ever suffered prescription drug sticker shock, Dr. Marcia Angell's "The Truth About the Drug Companies" is the book for you."
-- "Newsday
"" In-depth and insightful"
-- "Rocky Mountain News
"" Put your money on Angell. We need to know why drugs cost what they do, and we need to know how our physicians choose the drugs they give us."
-- "St. Louis Post Dispatch
"" Engaging and well-written"
-- "San Antonio Express-News
"
" Pharamceutical companies will need a new miracle pain reliever after the whipping they receive from Marcia Angell in her book... .a starting point for serious discussion."
"--The Hartford Courant"
" If informed criticism contains the sharpest stings, author Marcia Angell's jolting indictument of 'Big Pharma' might just be enough to pierce the beast's hide."
"--Minneapolis Star Tribune"

"From the Hardcover edition."

"Dr. Angell's case is tough, persuasive, and troubling."
--"The New York Times
"
"In what should serve as the "Fast Food Nation" of the drug industry, Angell... presents a searing indictment of 'big pharma' as corrupt and corrupting."
--"Publishers Weekly
"""The Truth About the Drug Companies" is a sober, clear-eyed attack on the excesses of drug company power... a lucid, persuasive, and highly important book."
--"The Boston Sunday Globe
""Her prose is clear and readable... Angell does an excellent job [making] a convincing case against Big Pharma."
--"Chicago Sun-Times
"
"If you've ever suffered prescription drug sticker shock, Dr. Marcia Angell's "The Truth About the Drug Companies" is the book for you."
--"Newsday
""In-depth and insightful"
--"Rocky Mountain News
""Put your money on Angell. We need to know why drugs cost what they do, and we need to know how our physicians choose the drugs they give us."
--"St. Louis Post Dispatch
""Engaging and well-written"
--"San Antonio Express-News
"
"Pharamceutical companies will need a new miracle pain reliever after the whipping they receive from Marcia Angell in her book....a starting point for serious discussion."
"--The Hartford Courant"
"If informed criticism contains the sharpest stings, author Marcia Angell's jolting indictument of 'Big Pharma' might just be enough to pierce the beast's hide."
"--Minneapolis Star Tribune"

Dr. Angell s case is tough, persuasive, and troubling.
"The New York Times
"
In what should serve as the "Fast Food Nation" of the drug industry, Angell presents a searing indictment of big pharma as corrupt and corrupting.
"Publishers Weekly
" "The Truth About the Drug Companies" is a sober, clear-eyed attack on the excesses of drug company power a lucid, persuasive, and highly important book.
"The Boston Sunday Globe
" Her prose is clear and readable Angell does an excellent job [making] a convincing case against Big Pharma.
"Chicago Sun-Times
"
If you ve ever suffered prescription drug sticker shock, Dr. Marcia Angell s "The Truth About the Drug Companies" is the book for you.
"Newsday
" In-depth and insightful
"Rocky Mountain News
" Put your money on Angell. We need to know why drugs cost what they do, and we need to know how our physicians choose the drugs they give us.
"St. Louis Post Dispatch
" Engaging and well-written
"San Antonio Express-News
"
"Pharamceutical companies will need a new miracle pain reliever after the whipping they receive from Marcia Angell in her book .a starting point for serious discussion."
"--The Hartford Courant"
"If informed criticism contains the sharpest stings, author Marcia Angell's jolting indictument of 'Big Pharma' might just be enough to pierce the beast's hide."
"--Minneapolis Star Tribune""

From the Inside Flap

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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Format: Paperback
Marcia Angell was (chief) editor of the renowned New England Journal of Medicine for two decades. As stated on the back of the 2005 paperback edition of her book, she "had a front-row seat on the growing corruption of the pharmaceutical industry."

She fleetingly mentions possible negative effects to health by drugs, although she is not skeptical, for instance, of the need to medicate when high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or HIV are diagnosed. She has faith that in some distant future, genetic research will lead to new and helpful drugs. Naturally, she does not mention forced medical treatment, nor the effects of the massive amounts of drugs we collectively excrete on the earth we all share.

Angell's main beef is that the drug companies are too profitable. She correctly identifies that they are NOT a free-market success story. They live off industry-friendly laws and regulation, publicly funded research, monopoly rights, protectionism, and tax breaks. Their best client, the biggest single purchaser of prescription drugs, is government.

The pharmaceutical industry uses its wealth and power to manipulate congress, federal and state legislators, the Food and Drug Administration, and the courts. "[It] has essentially hired government to do its bidding." It has by far the largest lobby in Washington. Drug companies even hire family members of congressmen to lobby them. And they "donate" copiously to political campaigns. "Legislators are now so beholden to the pharmaceutical industry that it will be exceedingly difficult to break its lock on them."

Meanwhile, some of the public is growing more skeptical of the pharmaceutical industry, as evidenced, among other ways, by the many books criticizing it that have recently come on the market.
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1 Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Everyone should read this book, really. It's not only an eye opener but it's an excellent reading too.
The author has all the credentials and brings full credibility to the work, furthermore the book is written in such a way that you sometimes forget you're reading a factual report of the state of the pharmaceutical industry -- it feels more like a good Dan Brown or John Grisham novel, the difference being is all true. And scary.
I suppose the situation in America is even worse than here in Europe (at least we have the solace of drug price control over here) but to learn what goes behind the secretive doors of big pharma companies is most of the time astonishing and left me outraged after reading some passages.
Michael Moore must pick up this book and write one of those wonderful documentaries since big pharma has all the ingredients to a blockbuster, Oscar-winning Moore documentary -- think of everything that is wrong with the big corporations and their absurd profits and practices: it's all there in the big pharmaceutical companies and Marcia Angells's wonderful book.
Read it. Spread the word. And let's try and convice Mr. Moore to produce a film about it.
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By A Customer on 29 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book certainly sheds light on unscrupulous aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. One of the recurring themes in the book is that Big Pharma spends a lot of money overloading all of us with why we should pay for their latest drugs. The idea is that if the drug companies say this enough times, we will be convinced to buy their products or our doctors will be convinced to prescribe these products. However, the author repeats herself so often in making this (and other) charges against the industry, she is equally guilty of trying to convert us into her point of view by repetition tactics. Does this book tell us about the short-comings of the pharmaceutical companies and the governmental regulatory bodies? Yes. Does the author need 319 pages to get this point across to the reader? No. Buy it if you want an easy read that exposes a lot of dirt, but turn a blind eye towards the kind of sensationalistic writing used to make this book so hard to put down.
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Dr. Angell seems to have a serious axe to grind in writing this book, but then again nearly everyone who writes a book has an axe to grind to some degree. She's right that the large drug companies have become heavily involved in marketing, their drugs are very highly priced in the United States, and they do produce many "me-too" drugs. To some degree, though, this is par for the course for any big company that is trying to protect its interests in a highly competitive market. It may be that the industry will behave like this indefinitely if no one intervenes, or it could be that after all of the "low hanging fruit" drugs, such as SSRIs, are created and their patents run their course, fewer big drug companies will be able to survive. We may be witnessing something like the end of the dotcom boom. In either case, Dr. Angell's book is well researched and loaded with facts and examples. It's probably good for everyone to hear her ideas. Author of Adjust Your Brain: A Practical Theory for Maximizing Mental Health.
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Excellent book on how big pharma has corrupted health care by putting profits before people....
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