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The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It
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Random House Publishing Group 2004
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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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/24/2004
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781588362117
ASIN:
B000FC1V1A
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APA Citation (style guide)

Marcia Angell. (2004). The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Marcia Angell. 2004. The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Marcia Angell, The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. Random House Publishing Group, 2004.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Marcia Angell. The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. Random House Publishing Group, 2004.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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creators
      • role: Author
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      • bioText: Former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine and now a member of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Social Medicine, Marcia Angell is a nationally recognized authority in the field of health policy and medical ethics and an outspoken critic of the health care system. Time magazine named her one of the twenty-five most influential people in America. Dr. Angell is the author of Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case.
      • name: Marcia Angell
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Random House
publishDate
2004-08-24T00:00:00-04:00
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title
The Truth About the Drug Companies
fullDescription
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.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times
      • content: "Dr. Angell's case is tough, persuasive, and troubling."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Boston Sunday Globe
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Chicago Sun-Times
      • content: "Her prose is clear and readable... Angell does an excellent job [making] a convincing case against Big Pharma."
      • premium: False
      • source: Newsday
      • content: "If you've ever suffered prescription drug sticker shock, Dr. Marcia Angell's The Truth About the Drug Companies is the book for you."
      • premium: False
      • source: Rocky Mountain News
      • content: "In-depth and insightful"
      • premium: False
      • source: St. Louis Post Dispatch
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Antonio Express-News
      • content: "Engaging and well-written"
      • premium: False
      • source: The Hartford Courant
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
      • content: "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."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from August 2, 2004
        In what should serve as the Fast Food Nation
        of the drug industry, Angell, former editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine,
        presents a searing indictment of "big pharma" as corrupt and corrupting: of Congress, through huge campaign contributions; of the FDA, which is funded in part by the very companies it oversees; and, perhaps most shocking, of members of the medical profession and its institutions. Angell delineates how the drug giants, such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca, pay physicians to prescribe their products with gifts, junkets and marketing programs disguised as "professional education." According to Angell, the cost of marketing, both to physicians and consumers, far outweighs expenditures on research and development, though drug makers invoke R&D as the reason drug prices are so high. In fact, says Angell, with combined 2002 profits of $35.9 billion for the Fortune 500's top 10 drug companies, the drug industry is America's most profitable by far, thanks to disproportionately high prices, generous tax breaks and manipulation of patents to extend exclusive marketing rights to blockbuster drugs like Prozac and Claritin. Angell mounts a powerful case (and offers specific suggestions) for reform of this essential industry—a case worth bearing in mind as "big pharma" continues to oppose importing cheaper drugs from Canada. Agent, Martel Agency. (On sale Aug. 24)

        Forecast:
        Time called Angell one of the 25 most influential Americans, and with the high cost of drugs making front-page news, her book should find a receptive audience.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 1, 2004
        A former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine takes on the drug companies.

        Copyright 2004 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2004
        Angell, former editor in chief of the prestigious " New England Journal of Medicine," pulls no punches in her criticism of the big pharmaceautical companies. She profiles big "pharma" as one of the most bloated, secretive, self-serving industries--one that uses government payoffs, lures, bribes, and kickbacks to maintain its practice of grossly overcharging the public for products that are increasingly less than innovative. Under the current situation, the main pipeline of new products are mostly "me-too" drugs-- drugs very similar to successful ones already on the market yet patentable as new entities so that the companies can continue to charge premium prices for existing treatments as the older drugs move to generic status. The problem is that these new drugs may be less safe and effective than the older ones, since to get approval, drug companies only have to show that they work, not that they are better than an existing drug. Fortunately the public is angry about the current situation and is beginning to demand reform, to which Angell provides a sensible, enlightened approach.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2004, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from July 1, 2004
        With the recent controversy over Medicare reform for prescription drugs, there couldn't be a better time for a coherent book on the state of the pharmaceutical industry. Angell, the former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, offers an impassioned expos of how money is really spent by this gigantic and immensely wealthy industry. Angell looks at the role of academia in drug research, how the FDA is impacted by the industry, and how pharmaceutical companies influence medical education and research. She devotes a large part of her book to an analysis of recent U.S. legislation that, while well meaning, has actually been a tremendous financial boon to the pharmaceutical industry. Angell concludes with practical suggestions on how the industry and our governmental policies can be reformed to bring the profits of this necessary industry to a more reasonable level. Every registered voter should read this book; highly recommended for public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/04.]-Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.

        Copyright 2004 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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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...
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