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The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It
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The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  492 ratings  ·  61 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 24th 2004 by Random House (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,118)
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Ellen
[image error]
One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all


It’s pretty easy to imagine the millions of dollars pharma companies spend on the advertisements we watch on television, hear on the radio, see on the Internet, in magazines, newspapers, and so forth. However, some of the advertisements, referred to as stealth ads, are harder to recognize; infomercials can fool consumers by resembling newscasts rather than commercials (Ange
...more
Amie
This book is indispensable. Exposes the lies that the big pharmaceutical companies hide behind and use to justify the ridiculously overpriced drugs they are selling and gouging consumers. The best aspect of this book is that it dispels the myth that drugs are so expensive because of the costly R&D associated with creating brand new lifesaving drugs. The truth is that the most expensive and speculative research is done at the university level, which you've already paid for with your tax dolla ...more
Mohamed Al Marzooqi
عندما أقرأ كتبًا كهذه- لا تتوفر لها ترجمة عربية .. أتأكد أكثر بأن الطريق أمامنا نحو فهم العالم لا يزالا طويلاً!

يسلط هذا الكتاب الضوء على ممارسات شركات الأدوية غير الأخلاقية، والمدفوعة بالجشع والرغبة في مضاعفة أرباحها، في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية. كمية المعلومات الصادمة والفاضحة في هذا الكتاب كفيلة بأن يشيب لها شعر الرأس. ورغم أن الكتاب يتاول مشكلة أمريكية خالصة، إلا أن ما يحصل هناك، لا بد وأن يكون له -بطريقة أو بأخرى- نتائج هنا!
Miriam
An indispensable book for anyone interested in healthcare reform. Everyone complains about affordable health insurance, but no one asks why health costs are so high in the first place. After 20+ years on the editorial staff of the New England Journal of Medicine, Marcia Angell became fed up with the obvious unethical practices of Big Pharma. She presents a well-researched and extremely thorough look at how Big Pharma is draining Americans dry. Although the book does get a bit repetitive, it was ...more
James Perkins
Nobody who reads this book will want to take a pill ever again. Dr Angell exposes the modern legal drugs trade for what it is, so deeply rooted in profit lust and political corruption, it's got nothing to do with curing disease and everything to do with making truckloads of money. Drug companies cry poor, yet they charge exorbitant prices for their products, drag out their patent rights as long as possible, and prevent the medicine being distributed more cheaply in poorer countries that desperat ...more
Pete
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Demer
This book by a doctor and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine is a serious indictment of the pharmaceutical industry, particularly as it operates in the US. Although I was aware of much of the information, she lays it all out with detailed documentation.

While most basic research is conducted by the NIH and/or universities, drug companies continue to excuse their exorbitant price-gouging on the costs of "research and development". While their big expenditures are actually direct
...more
John
Dr. Angell is angry at the big pharmaceutical companies, or at least was when she wrote this in 2004. As such, she perhaps overreaches at times during the course of this indictment against big pharma and the American way of dealing with prescription medicines. You come across the word "reportedly," meaning, "I haven't been able to confirm this, but other people say it's true." And, "I strongly suspect," meaning, "I have every reason to believe this is true, but I can't prove it, and it probably ...more
Edmund
Clear and cogent explanation of pharmaceutical industry and the crucial roles that industry-friendly legislation has played in creating the billion-dollar behemoth. It was updated 9 years ago, but a new addition would be helpful.
Bookmarks Magazine

Big Pharma "is taking us for a ride," Angell contends. "And there will be no real reform without an aroused and determined public to make it happen." This expose may arouse readers, but will it help the larger cause? Critics agree that Angell's passionate, well-researched indictment of the industry's practice raises important questions. The lack of new insight doesn't diminish its power, but some critics who applaud Angell's suggested reforms also see them as unrealistic. Only Dr. Miller of The

...more
Christopherseelie
May 19, 2009 Christopherseelie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: citizens
Angell writes clearly about a very difficult and multifaceted subject. Her points are well documented, and her criticism is pragmatic while her principles remain earnest. Her sardonic wit is never too far away.

I haven't read non-fiction this good in a while. I picked up the book as part of my blogging activities for background research; but now I would say this book has empowered me and given me a greater understanding on how the world works.
Gregory
Jun 09, 2015 Gregory rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gregory by: Someone for Jump Trading
This was an interesting read. I think her most valid points are the industries high profits and over participation in clinical trials. Since I am sure that no one is bothering to criticize the book I will focus on what I didn't like about it.

First the beginning chapters felt very repetitive to me. This was made worse by the fact every was support by essential a single data point (2002 financial data). I think it would have been much better if these chapters were condensed in a small peer reviewe
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Cwn_annwn_13
Angell does a good job of showing what rats the pharmaceutical industry are in this book. I consider big Pharma on a level of evil close to that of big banks and big oil, big food and big chemical corporations so if this book has a fault its that she is too easy on them. Never the less she gets a lot out about some of what they are pulling.
Igor

Farmacevtskih podjetij ne zanimajo ljudje z nenavadnimi boleznimi, saj je v teh primerih trg majhen.

Če podjetja ugotovijo, da zdravila ne prinašajo dobička, jih enostavno nehajo proizvajati.

"Celo ekipa New York Yankees včasih izgubi in znano je, da včasih izgubi tudi ekipa Los Angeles Lakers. Toda obstaja organizacija, ki nikdar ne izgubi, in ta organizacija ima za sabo na stotine zmag in nobenega poraza v kongresu Združenih držav. In to je farmacevtska industrija."

Velika farmacija pomaga povsod
...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Hmm, what to say. My husband and I watched a documentary recently about the prescription drug industry in Canada. Marcia Angell was one of the experts they interviewed and I wanted to read more of her opinions. Of course, this book is very USA-centered because that is where Dr. Angell lives, works, and 'experiences' the prescription drug industry.

Anyway, the book if full of eye-opening information about the way the drug companies wriggle around a lot of laws, not only FDA types laws but the 'la
...more
Nate
Bought this a few years ago but never got around to reading it, so its a bit outdated already. Despite that, the main message (see the book's title) still rings true today. Some of the changes she called for are happening - decreased drug rep presence in teaching hospitals for example - but most have not. The companies have an even more desparate air now than just a few years ago - even fewer truly innovative new drugs, even more me-too drugs, continued reliance on academia (and smaller foreign ...more
Charlene Smith
After reading this book I am tempted to say, "I would rather die than have another prescription drug," ahem,
one just might.
But why don't you ponder these facts from the book: "The authors obtained FDA (Federal Drug Administration) reviews of every placebo(sugar-coated pill)-controlled clinical trial submitted for initial approval of the six most widely used antidepressant drugs approved between 1987 and 1999 - Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa. Serzone and Effexor (all but the last two are SSRIs)..
...more
Gil
I'm about halfway through it and it's informative. However, her rhetoric is so inflammatory and critical that it makes me doubt her credibility and political agenda. She is clearly biased against pharmaceutical companies.

Angell states that many for-profit drug companies are receiving federal research funding of some sort. Her view is that if taxpayers fund the research then private companies should not be able to profit from the resulting drugs which come to market. Her argument is that many peo
...more
Christy
Eye-opening and compelling reading. I'd have given this book five stars, except for three things: (1) I'd like to read an updated edition, since this was written nearly a decade ago, (2) Angell's stubborn refusal to capitalize "Big Pharma" throughout the book, and (3) there's one assertion that the author makes that I just can't get behind.

I acknowledge that I'm not a doctor, but as an educated medical consumer, I don't buy the idea that individual differences are meaningless and there's no use
...more
Beth
http://bethsbookreviewblog.blogspot.c...

I have to say that I wasn't overly impressed by this. It left me feeling vaguely like I'd heard it all before, which I have, really. There was no real, startling new information that one couldn't find out from Sicko. It was a comprehensive, academic discussion of the situation and what could be done to fix it.

I felt almost completely neutral about the book. I wasn't in any rush to finish it, but it wasn't bad enough to turn off either.

It was really mostly
...more
Cathy
Livro escrito por uma das pessoas que antigamente era responsável pela publicação de artigos cientificos numa das mais conceituadas revistas médicas.
Uma critica á Industria Farmaceutica, que apesar de focar essencialmente o problema de saúde americano, deve ser lida por todos para um melhor esclarecimento de como essa Industria funciona.É uma chamada de atenção importante para uma realidade nossa também, pois apesar de estarmos algo protegidos com o controlo de preços somos confrontados com a p
...more
Kirk
Dr. Angell writes a take-down of the pharma industry based on her deep experience as editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. The pharma industry is so fascinatingly complex and fraught with ethical dilemmas. Dr. Angell argues they are overly focused on profits and marketing; the industry can and should be doing much more to help patients and control health care costs. I don't agree with all her points (are me-toos really so bad if they provide options and competition?) but every one of th ...more
Daniel Roy
One of the best books I ever read. I might be biased because I currently work in the pharma industry (doing IT support), but this insider's view on the industry practices will probably come handy when it will be time for me to start taking drugs to fix any health issue I might encounter in the future. Shows you that when money is involved, people will do anything, even play with other people's lives. A good example of what's going on in the industry is this week's news that Merck falsified "scie ...more
Sabio
This book teaches you a lot about the flow of money in the Drug Industry. The author, a former editor of the NEJM, knows her stuff but has her own axe to grind -- she wants socialized medicine. The problem with the system now is largely government interference. The government protects and nourishes the drug companies (corporate welfarism) while people demand more care without feeling the cost via govt. services (medicare etc). But this book makes me rethink many of my beliefs simply by overwhel ...more
Jocelenilton Gomes
Mais pessoas deveriam ler este livro, essencial para um civilização hedonista e hipocondríaca
Grace
interesting facts:

most of the innovative drugs discovered each year are actually supported by NIH or other publicly funded research, meaning that big pharma did almost nothing in the discovery process. the price of drugs, therefore, is totally unrelated to the cost of discovery.

lots of incestuous relationships between Big Pharma + FDA, Congress, and doctors...

patent law is totally abused.

FDA, Congress, doctors, and even consumers contribute to the mess of the drug industry.
Waseem
Fantastic book exposing the massive global scam in relation to drug companies ( by the way if you liked this book you'll love "The Trillion Dollar Conspiracy" which goes beyond the drug company fiasco)

Anyway my point is books like this are a must for every citizen , I've always had personal feelings about how drugs work which seems inefficient and a false economy .. This book explains why am right and more

Recommend :)

To Our Continued Success!
Waseem Mirza
http://www.WaseemMirza.net
Vicki
This is such an important book that everyone who believes that the big pharmaceutical companies are working solely towards providing safe, efficacious medicines should read. I know a tiny amount of what goes on in Big Pharma from my own experience and as someone with an 'incurable' disease it makes me dispair that the prime motive of the company, though not necessarily its employees, is profit, profit, profit.

Because of this approach some of us will die before we should.
Jussarian
This is what 'deconstructionism' should be: analysing the words and acts of those with real power over politics, money and people to see if they really do what they say. This is a brilliant expose. From arguments about the level of r&d funding Big Pharma does, to the actual effectiveness of their drugs, to their legal efforts to avoid having to act like a capitalist organisation, to their suborning of the political process: Dr Angell does the job of a great journalist.
Jason
This book is written by an insider of the medical community (the editor of the Journal of the American Medicine Association, as I recall) and has some astounding revelations. This is one of the most eye-opening books I've read in years; from the open bribery of doctors, to the fact that big pharma almost never discovers new drugs (it's publicly funded government agencies and universities that do that), the moral bankruptcy of the big pharmas is shocking.

A must read book.
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Marcia Angell, M. D., is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine on June 30, 2000. A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, she trained in both internal medicine and anatomic pathology and is a board-certified pathologist. She joined the editorial staff of the New England J ...more
More about Marcia Angell...
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