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Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves Into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs
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Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves Into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  387 ratings  ·  95 reviews
In the last thirty years, the big pharmaceutical companies have transformed themselves into marketing machines selling dangerous medicines as if they were Coca-Cola or Cadillacs. They pitch drugs with video games and soft cuddly toys for children; promote them in churches and subways, at NASCAR races and state fairs. They've become experts at promoting fear of disease, jus ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Books Ring Mah Bell
Not sure who pisses me off more: the pharmaceutical marketers or the doctors that write prescriptions - because the pharmaceutical reps have given them pens, blow jobs, or large cash bonuses for doing so.

Maybe it's our fault as Americans for wanting a pill to fix everything.

Our system is broken.
Dec 31, 2009 rated it liked it
An eye-opening, if not fair and balanced, book.

Unfortunately, too much time has passed since reading this book for me to make any specific comments, but I do remember that it made a lot of accusations against the pharmaceutical companies about how their profit motivation is working at cross purposes to public health. Rather than work on ground-breaking new meds, they slightly alter existing ones to get a fresh patent and a renewed chance at marketing. Pharma money supports "independant research"
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who sees a doctor or takes prescription drugs
I think everyone in America should read this book. If they did, there would be so much outrage about the way drug companies do business that it would absolutely change the way medicine is practiced in this country. I learned from the book that the marketing departments of drug companies invent diseases and syndromes to sell their products. Marketers ghost-write scientific articles and then pay doctors to be the "authors" of them. Drug companies have no qualms about aggressively marketing to chil ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
A disturbing but essential read. Incredibly well researched and engaging and approachable. I found I had to take it in small chunks only because I was getting so angry about the widespread abuses and negligence by pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and those who should be regulating to protect patients. My only gripe is that it felt slightly too Iowa-centric but it could be taken as a case study that's nationally relevant. I would hope that the industry has changed since this was published but I ...more
Larry Taylor
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
The subtitle of the book pretty much says it all: "How the pharmaceutical companies transformed themselves into slick marketing machines and hooked the nation on prescription drugs. Peterson is a first rate investigative reporter who carefully researches and backs up all her claims. At a minimum, this book will make you want to demand that pharmaceutical companies stop advertising to the public, something that is only legal in New Zealand and the United States.
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The full subtitle of this book is How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves Into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs. A thoroughgoing spoiler, it is no more than accurate.

In Our Daily Meds, the author reveals how corporate salesmanship has trumped science inside the biggest pharmaceutical companies, and, in turn, how this promotion-driven industry has taken over the practice of medicine and is radically changing American life -- and American health
Jun 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
It's been a long, long time since I felt so actively hostile toward a book and its author. I'm not sure why exactly that is. Rather, the reasons for hostility are so many and so varied I don't know if it's possible to sort them out. Mostly, I think that, as a person with a probably greater than average interest in non-pharmaceutical health-maintenance, I expected this book to be somewhat more solution-forward, rather than just a giant horror show of evil people concluding with 19 demands for gov ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it
When you boil it all down, this book was terrifying. You know all of the food books out that are making people take a second look at what they eat? I think books taking a closer look at drug companies should be the next big thing.

There are so many aspects of this book that terrify me. I’m scared of how doctors are swayed into prescribing drugs for ailments they haven’t been tested for. I’m scared of how medicated kids are. I’m scared about people who drive under the influence of multiple prescri
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every adult who is literate
Recommended to Judith by: Bill Moyers on PBS
Everyone should read this book.
Arctic Flamingo
Brutal and eye opening. (And this is coming from someone who thought that their eyes were already open.)
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
"I recently bought a boat but had nowhere to put it. So I bought a marina." --Bill Steere, former CEO of Pfizer.
"One nation, under sedation." George Clinton

Americans take more prescription drugs than any other nation, but don't show any benefit in terms of better health or longer life. On the contrary, we suffer from opioid addiction and drug overdoses. Often drugs are prescribed to treat the side effects of other drugs. Overprescription of antibiotics leads to microbial resistance and the need
Alexander McLeese
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books which some would turn away from because the comfort of ignorance is easier to accept than the harsh yet truthful reality. This page turner looks at the last 30 years of the pharmaceutical companies and how through using the tactics of tobacco companies and with as much care for the consumer as a drug cartel they went from scientists looking for cures to marketing machines inventing diseases in order to sell the 'cure'. We like to assume that medication is backed by sou ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
every physician should read this.
highly recommend for citizens who see conventional med doctors who are heavily influenced by big pharma. a very sad state for our nation.
Ben Silver
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Startling how little we as the pawns in the game really know.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting read about the pharmaceutical industry. Eye opening.
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Yesterday, I was scanning a file I keep of books people on discussion lists have mentioned. Scanning the books at the indie book store, I spied a book on my list: Our Daily Meds by Christine Petersen.

I just finished the first couple of chapters and this book is awesome. It's about the way the pharmaceutical industry and physicians end up creating maladies that can be treated with drugs that are not proven to be especially effective -- sometimes depression medication is no more effective than the
Jul 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Every American
Read this book, even though it may sicken you.

Not so long ago pharmaceutical companies were noble enterprises dedicated to science, to medical research, to finding cures for disease.

Our Daily Meds is a highly readable chronicle of how drug companies turned themselves into powerful marketers dedicated to persuading you to take their pills every day for the rest of your life, even if those pills don't help you and may kill you. The book carefully documents the industry's shadiest practices, often
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Americans spend more on medical treatment today than they do on housing, food, transportation, or anything else. This was not the case in 1980, when medical cost barley made the list of a household's top 5 expenses.

Taxpayers covered nearly 1/2 the country's heath care tab in 2005. By the time the medical bills had been tailed in 2005, the nation had spent an average $6,777 for each person, or $26,800 for a household of 4. By 2015 Americans will surrender 20% to the pharmaceutical industry & the
Oct 25, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
It's much more biased than I like, especially for such an important topic. The first example the author introduces of profit-driven pharmaceuticals is eflornithine/Vaniqa. The author describes how eflorinthine saved African patients from sleeping sickness, until the drug companies pulled it out as it was not profitable enough, and marketed it in the U.S. as a cream for hirsute women, which made them much more money. The book stops there. It doesn't tell me, where the surprisingly and consistentl ...more
John Barbour
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, pharmacy
Create a disease and then market the medicine. It's all about marketing. Marketers - not scientists rule! The first created disease was GERD. It was created by Glaxo along with its solution ranitidine in 1981. By 1988 Zantac (ranitidine) was the biggest selling prescription drug in the world. Melody Peterson in this very interesting book talks about this on pages 134-141 (Chapter 5).

She actually begins the story with the created disease "overactive bladder" and its solution - Detrol which began
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This book was really shocking and horrifying, but every American should read it. I was shocked by how unsafe and ineffective medications can be and still recieve FDA approval. I was shocked by the lengths pharmaceutical companies go to to bribe doctors - and that most of what they do is perfectly legal. I was shocked at how the pharmaceutical companies are allowed to have so much influence in medical research that is supposed to be unbiased and objective.
I thought the author made a very convinc
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Fantastic book, very insightful, especially during our current health care "reform", that will undoubtedly lead to a more advantageous health care system for insurance & drug companies (who have several lobbyist's per congressman/woman). My onyl critic, is that being from Iowa, she uses her home state as an example all too often. Also, feels a little extremist sometimes, because she wants people to understand the severity of the situation and do what they can to fix it, or atleast protect themse ...more
Jul 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you are already the type who watches and respects reportage ala Bill Moyers, PBS's Frontline, etc., then you'll be in the same groove with Ms. .Peterson.

Well told stories within stories, meticulously researched and well-situated in multiple, localized, national, and global controversies.

Perhaps, someday, a 'war crimes' tribunal will be seated to judge the Pharmaceutical Industry.
So close to Sarafem, so far from God.

And if you know of any elderly people first scribed Detrol and then diagnosed
Melissa McClintock
Oh my goodness this is a huge eyeopener! How certain mental health issues like "generalized anxiety disorder" was originated with the drug companies. Many "national depression screening" days are funded by the drug companies but not advertised as such. Explains how it is hard to diagnos true mental illness from fraudulant b/c "tests for wellness" don't exist.

Astia Zenecias "little purple pill" is the same but REPACKAGED Prilosec, and "new" drug nexium.

i was kind of alarmed, i had no idea when vi
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book this weekend, a good airport book. I had started it a couple of weeks ago but didn't feel compelled to finish it because this was something I have been living the last 30 years.

This a book about the corruption of medicine in the US by the pharmaceutical companies. As a pharmacist who owned my own pharmacy during much of that time I personally know that Ms. Petersen is reporting the truth. This is a book that, once you read it, you have to react. Because if it is truth then
Apr 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In the period (1980-2003) when Americans doubled what they spent on cars they increased their spending on prescription drugs by 17 times.Big pharmaceutical companies have transformed themselves into marketing machines, selling drugs as they were peddling soft drinks or cars. They sell drugs with video games and soft cuddly toys for children; advertise them in churches, subways, NASCAR races, and state fairs. Americans spent $250 billion in 2005 on prescription drugs more than the combined gross ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2009
A must read for all Americans. Not just those on prescription drugs either. Corruption in the drug industries effects our entire society on so many levels. I have always been aware there are serious problems, but Petersen really brings so many of these issues into one reading. The system is broken. Drugs are no longer discovered for out health, only for profit.
She leaves out some of the details that do not add to her arguments, but it is important that people know what is going on. I couldn't h
Dina Mitchell
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have a chapter called "Just Say Maybe" in my own book, Four Quadrant Living: Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life, about the use of prescription drugs in this country. This is something I am passionate about because too often we turn to medications when we could heal ourselves naturally. For example, exercise in combination with weight loss can reduce the odds of developing diabetes by 58%, nearly double the rate of success of diabetes medication (31%). Every year, over 100,000 Americans ...more
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Well, technically I didn't finish reading this - partly because it is really thick reading, partly because I wanted to read some other things, and partly because I can only get so frustrated about something before I have to change subjects and think about something else.

This is an excellent book, very well written (and cited), about the inherent problems with the pharmaceutical industry. If you think the industry really isn't that bad, I would recommend reading this book for a second opinion. If
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
I thought I was plenty cynical about Big Pharma. Then I read this book and found that my view was rosy and innocent in the extreme.

It's a damning indictment of the current practices of the industry, including making up diseases which don't exist so they can advertise drugs that don't work, suborning doctors at every turn and worse.

My only quibble with the book is there are parts of it which read like a tabloid, vague and alarmist. The vagueness is more than adequately addressed by the notes in
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