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Blood Feud: The Man Who Blew the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever

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3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Blood-boosting Procrit is Johnson & Johnson's biotech superstar. Behind its various brand names, it ranks as Medicare's most reimbursed drug. But Procrit performs frighteningly well, and can stimulate so many blood cells that thousands of patients die in unexplained and painful ways. And that's not all: Cancer patients, who often receive injections, are never warned th ...more
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Published September 20th 2011 by Tantor Media
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(showing 1-30)
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Joan
Jan 16, 2012 Joan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating is a weighted rating. The author is a great story teller. The narrative was compelling. I wanted to know what happened next. (=4 stars) But...like reality television, the story is probably only coincidentally linked to the facts of the case, which if one is advertising the 'true, inside, story' isn't a good thing to do. (=1 star).

The book begins with the tragic death of a patient who had suffered from recurrent cancer. It is suggested that the patient died as a result of an adverse rea
...more
Ricki Lewis
Nov 04, 2011 Ricki Lewis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Blood Feud” is the tragic and true story of two drug reps trying to expose the unethical and illegal practices of a pharmaceutical giant in marketing a dangerous biotech-based drug. I ordered it at the same time that I ordered Jeffrey Eugenides' new book, The Marriage Plot. Usually I race through fiction and leave nonfiction for weeks on end, reading a bit at a time. I started both books and quickly put the novel aside. That's never happened before.

At first I was a little disbelieving of the as
...more
Margie
Feb 02, 2017 Margie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. This book is so alarming on so many levels and this book will shock you. Johnson and Johnson the company you thought you could trust.
Socraticgadfly
Yes, the label of "Big Pharma" can be thrown around indiscriminately.

Then, a book like this suggests we need to use it even more.

There's an ugly world out there of drug company sales reps essentially bribing doctors, hospitals and clinics to use their brand of drugs. There's gimmes galore, and far beyond note pads or pens. Add in lines of credit, rebates, discounts, free initial supplies of drugs and more, and its sickening.

Then, the George Bush FDA decided to roll back most of the limited amoun
...more
Harold
Nov 22, 2011 Harold rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but not great. This is the story of a whistle-blower who lodged a complaint against Johnson and Johnson arising out of the sale of Procrit. The story is an interesting one, and I learned quite a lot about medical reps, and unfortunately about the sale of drugs in America, waste fraud and abuse in the system, and the injustice and inefficiency of our medical regulatory system. It is a scary story.

The book itself focuses on one of the two whistleblowers, and how his disillusionment and journe
...more
Jen
Mar 17, 2012 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While this is a book about an important issue (the shady world of prescription drug marketing and approval in this country), I didn't really feel like it was a book about what it says it is about. I picked it up because the subtitle is "The Man who blew the whistle on one of the deadliest prescription drugs ever--Procrit"; a drug I know and studied well. I had no idea it had become the deadliest prescription drug ever. After reading the book, I STILL don't know that. The book was way more about ...more
Amy
Jul 03, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting read. Although the timeline bounced here and there (making for a bit of confusion), the content will blow your socks off. This is a whistle-blower story and will simply piss you off that big pharma companies behave so slyly and slickly. The story illustrates, in part, how lame the FDA is based on who its political leader is, allowing for big pharma to sell unproven drugs for unpermitted uses and kill Americans in the process; all in the name of profit and to outsell the c ...more
Dominic
Feb 19, 2013 Dominic rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because it was recommended by the Editor of MedPage Today; however, I would not recommend this book to others. It was much too long for the real story I wanted to know about. The writing is not very good at all. By the last 100 pages, I could have returned it to the library without finishing and would have no problem with it. At the end of the book, I hated the main character, Mark Duxbury, and he's the one we're supposed to care about! That's never a good thing. She also misspe ...more
Debra
Mar 14, 2015 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captivating and insightful. Written in a thriller style, "Blood Feud" takes a close look at the highly unethical (but highly effective) pharmaceutical marketing practices of the 1990's into the 2000's. The topic is Johnson & Johnson's marketing of anemia drug Procrit. The results -- hastened deaths for many and much fraud (particularly billing to Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies). All driven by greed. And despite the whistle blower, not adequately or fairly addressed by th ...more
Steve
May 04, 2012 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ive been in differnt types of sales work, time share, alarm systems,
advertising and they could be considered at times a bit shady. The drug saleman is in a different class of sales altogher. They hype the benifits and skip over the risk. The risk factor of someone getting killed from a sale is beyond me how they are not aware of damage that
a "customer" should be educated on. I had sympathy for Duxbury but as
the book goes his wilful blindness is unbeliveable. If asprin was just
invented these guy
...more
Irina Rs
I have listened to audio book read by Coleen Marlo. I enjoy financial fraud stories. But having been exposed to medical field myself and knowing how things with insurance work firsthand, made me appreciate this book so much more. Nothing good can come out when health care becomes a financial instrument to launder money through false Medicare claims. The scheme is as outrageous as Ponzi scheme, but it had become a staple in a healthcare business and will remain for years to come. From now on I wi ...more
Julie
Nov 18, 2014 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
I wish that I could give this book 5 stars because I think everyone should read it. Sadly it moves so slowly that it is a chore to read. There is really important information swirled around a narrative that focuses on two men (one more than the other) that try to do the right thing when they realize that the drug they are selling is not the wonder drug their bosses tell them it is, and that the company they work for expects them to help doctors bilk medicare. This read made me so MAD!
A.
May 21, 2013 A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The amazing true story of the pharmaceutical company Amgen and the anti-anemia drug Procrit. This book explains the great lengths that drug companies and their sales reps will go to in order to make money selling a drug. Fast paced and interesting book.
This book is about the drug best known as a red blood cell producer used for patients on dialysis and chemotherapy, as well as by professional bike riders to increase their endurance.
June
Oct 20, 2011 June rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic expose not only about the particular drug at issue--Procrit--but the world of pharmaceutical sales. The author seems like she's in a creative writing class at times--just horrible similes and metaphors--(e.g. spread like scurvy on a galleon) and everyone has a "winsome" smile. And the "hero" of the book is a pharmaceutical salesman that the author tries to redeem, but is really just a slimey drug rep. Still, a great look into what goes on in this industry.



Bruce
Apr 28, 2012 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written from the whistleblowers perspective and I found often lacked balance as well as any meaningful insights into the legal ramifications of the issues and conflicts it presents. For those interested in the subject what may make it worth reading is that for all its faults, it does do a good job of depicting an element of the culture of pharmaceutical sales representatives.
Lou Chambers
Oct 06, 2011 Lou Chambers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Sharp tells the story of Mark Duxbury, employee of Johnson and Johnson. He sales a new drug called Procrit. Duxbury becomes a whistleblower when he realizes company is using biased marketing, doctors are being paid to use drug, promotions for drug are questionable and patients are dying. Book details his efforts to beat the system.
Tom Buske
I wanted to like this book more than I did as it was the story of a man's fight against Big Pharma. But it dealt a whole lot with his personal life, which was a mess and, to me, at least a little bit detracted from the righteousness of his story. It has frequently been compared to
A Civil Action but I liked ACA better.
Pete
I suppose as a career pharmaceutical chemist I should make it perfectly clear that I have no recollection of reading this book. But if one were to read it one might better understand just how American Health Care and Justice operate in the service of We the People.
Laure
Oct 26, 2011 Laure rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Real story about a red blood cell drug and the drug rep who blew the whistle on it. Reads like a thriller and is a real eye-opener about the pharmaceutical industry and regulators who are supposed to keep dangerous drugs off the market.
Jeremy Stephens
Nov 13, 2011 Jeremy Stephens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2011
This book is a biographical-like story of the sales career with and later struggles against the Johnson and Johnson company and their drug, Procrit. This is a must read for anyone who hates the pharmaceutical industry.
Naglerr
An important read regarding the potential for misdeeds in pharmaceutical marketing. Good insight into how sales quotas are more important than facts and risks. Not that well written but important in content.
Makereal


Very brave. But Kathleen herself admitted that she was influenced by the strong personalities she was covering. Not enough character development of the drug execs.
Sasha
Oct 31, 2011 Sasha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this was way longer than it had to be to tell the story...it is an important topic though (drug reps pushing drugs)
Crystal
Crystal rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2012
Alicia
Alicia rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2012
Ellen
Ellen rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2016
Renee
Renee rated it it was ok
Aug 02, 2012
Lynne Farrow
Lynne Farrow rated it really liked it
Sep 27, 2013
Jill Polsby
Jill Polsby rated it really liked it
May 09, 2012
Donna Quirk
Donna Quirk rated it really liked it
May 17, 2012
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