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The Truth about the Drug Companies


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About the Author

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.


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. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

A former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine takes on the drug companies. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"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

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