Many informed observers see the pharmaceutical industry as the natural successor to the tobacco industry: enormously wealthy and politically connected, ruthless, and much more concerned about profit than about the health of its customers.
Here are seven books describing the questionable practices that are an integral part of these powerful corporations' business model.
A Father Takes On His Daughter's Killer – The Multi-Billion Dollar Pharmaceutical Industry
by Terence Young.
This book tells a riveting story. It is also a clear, factual expose of the pharmaceutical industry and the inadequate regulation of this industry in Canada. Terence Young's journey begins when his daughter Vanessa, a healthy fifteen-year-old, suddenly dies after taking prescription medication for bloating. In his quest to find out why – and to prevent more similar deaths – he uncovers a horror story unfolding in plain view: a hugely powerful industry putting profits ahead of patient safety, resulting in perhaps as many as 20,000 deaths per year in Canada alone due to adverse drug reactions.
The Truth About Drug Companies
How They Deceive Us And What To Do About It
by Marcia Angell.
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.
On the Take
How Medicine's Complicity With Big Business Can Endanger Your Health
by Jerome P. Kassirer.
The profession of medicine encompasses a wide variety of ways in which a physician can dedicate his or her life within the traditional areas of clinical practice, research, education, and administration. In this book, Jerome Kassirer, a former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, documents, with well-referenced examples, how conflicts of interest, primarily financial in nature, have infiltrated all areas of the profession.
The Broken Promise Of American Medicine
by John Abramson.
According to Abramson, Americans are overmedicated and overmedicalized as a result of the commercialization of health care. Falling prey to marketing campaigns, we demand unnecessary and expensive drugs and procedures, believing they constitute the best possible medical care. Wrong, says Abramson: though more post–heart attack procedures are performed in the U.S. than in Canada, one-year survival rates are the same.
Science In The Private Interest
Has The Lure Of Profits Corrupted Biomedical Research?
by Sheldon Krimsky.
Sheldon Krimsky explores how scientific discoveries made within academic walls can be translated into better lives for members of the general public. Without the profit motive to stimulate private investment in discoveries with potential application to human need, laboratory breakthroughs might be confined to the pages of a prominent or obscure journal. Yet that same profit-oriented motive introduces a new set of priorities, motivations, and cultural norms into university laboratories and academic investigations. One university official is quoted as saying, "The only thing wrong with tainted money is there t'aint enough of it."
How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients
by Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels.
This accessible study about the collusion between medical science and the drug industry emphasizes how drug companies market their products by either redefining problems as diseases (like female sexual dysfunction) or redefining a condition to encompass a greater percentage of the population. Moynihan, a health journalist for the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet, and Cassels, a Canadian science writer, note, for instance, that eight of the nine specialists who wrote the 2004 federal guideline on high cholesterol, which substantially increased the number of people in that category, have multiple financial ties to drug manufacturers.
Universities At Risk
How Politics, Special Interests, and Corporatization Threaten Academic Integrity
edited by James Turk.
In Universities at Risk, a group of leading scholars in education, ethics, politics and medicine, among other areas, probe the forces that are threatening the integrity of post-secondary education, from both within and without. This book delves into the subject of corporate sponsorship, exploring the influences of powerful industries -- tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, for example. The book also discusses the struggle for credibility and the threat to free inquiry when special interest groups, right-wing think tanks, and discredited popular movements (such as intelligent design) infiltrate academia.
Contributors include: Brian Alters, Gary Bauslaugh, Mary Burgan, Joanna Cohen, Rosemary Deem, Shadia Drury, Brenda Gallie, Donald Gutstein, Marcus Harvey, David Healy, Michael Higgins, Sheldon Krimsky, Kevin Mattson, Arthur Schafer, Blair Stonechild, Jon Thompson and Pat Walden
Are we missing something? To recommend other works, please contact us...