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Publisher's Summary

In this explosive expose of the drug companies and how they are ripping us off, Marcia Angell, M.D., a doctor, medical journalist, and a former editor of the respected New England Journal of Medicine, reveals the many ways in which the pharmaceutical industry has moved away from its original purpose of finding and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine that produces drugs of questionable benefit, the industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt such institutions as the U.S. Congress, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), academic medical centers, as well as the medical profession. In spite of a lack of innovative drugs and continuously growing prices, the drug companies invest most of their time and money in marketing, legal maneuvers to extend patient rights, and government lobbying to prevent price regulation.
©2004 Marcia Angell (P)2007 Books on Tape Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A searing indictment....Angell mounts a powerful case (and offers specific suggestions) for reform of this essential industry." (Publishers Weekly)
"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 youve ever suffered prescription-drug sticker shock, Dr. Marcia Angell's The Truth About the Drug Companies is the book for you." (Newsday)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Douglas C. Bates on 12-16-12

Screed Against the Pharmaceutical Companies

Having worked in the pharmaceutical contract research industry, I have observed that for the most part the author's fundamental complaints about the pharmaceutical industry are correct. The public desperately needs to know about how the industry has gotten out of control. Its greed is now a major drain on the health and wealth of the world, but most particularly that of the United States. This book is an excoriating expose of the industry.

For at least my taste, this book would have been much better if it were not so much a one-sided rant. The invention, development, and marketing of pharmaceuticals is complex and requires trade-offs. The author tends towards going over the top about about the sins of the drug companies and sees only what's bad. There's lots of sin to write about. But there's not a hint of balance to the author's work. A more reasonable presentation, with a little more perspective on why the drug companies see things as they do and act as they do, would have made the author's arguments more compelling and her book more interesting.

The author's tone is exacerbated by the reader's tone, which is chronically scolding. It's not pleasant to listen to hours of scolding. Further marring the performance is that reader mispronounces several key names that are important to the story and are repeated many times, such as the name of Senator Birch Bayh.

The author's fundamental points are critically important and should be widely known. For just that fact this book is worth reading. But the message will probably not become more widely known until it is delivered by a better author.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Greg on 05-22-07


This is a very important book. Something needs to be done about our pharmaceutical industry. But the narrations is poor. It's presentation is difficult at times to listen to due to terrible pronunciation. Birch Bayh is called Bay instead of By and due to his legistation's importance, it is repeated many many times. Bona Fide is called bona fidEE. And many more. Don't readers have producers? Does anyone correct these?

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19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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