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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The Truth About the Drug
Companies
for exposing who is really in control of our medical care,
or lack of it, for our inability to pay enough to the already rich.

The Truth About the Drug Companies
How They Decieve Us and What To Do About It

The Truth About the Drug Companies by Marcia Angell
(2005) - 319 pages
The Truth About the Drug Companies at Amazon.com

  • The pharmaceutical industry claims to be a high-risk business, but year after year, drug companies have higher profits than those in any other industry - by a long shot.
  • The industry claims to be innovative, but only a small fraction of its drugs are truly new; most are simply variations of other drugs.
  • Contrary to popular belief, big drug companies spend far less on research and development than on marketing.
  • The pharmaceutical industry has an iron grip on Congress and the White House. It has the largest lobby in Washington - with more lobbyists than there are elected representatives in Congress - and contributes heavily to political campaigns.
  • Drug companies promote disease to match their drugs. Millions of normal Americans have come to believe that they have dubious or exaggerated ailments like "generalized anxiety disorder," "erectile dysfunction," "PMDD," and "GERD."
  • Drug companies have enormous influence over what doctors are taught about drugs and what they prescribe.
  • Drug companies have substantial control over clinical trials of their drugs. There is good reason to believe that much of the company-supported research on prescription drugs is biased as a result.

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 gain nearly limitless influence over medical research, education, and how doctors do their jobs. She sympathized as the American public, particularly the elderly, struggled and increasingly failed to meet spiraling prescription drug prices. Now, in this bold, hard-hitting new book, Dr. Angell exposes the shocking truth of what the pharmaceutical industry has become–and argues for essential, long-overdue change.

Currently Americans spend a staggering $200 billion each year on prescription drugs. As Dr. Angell powerfully demonstrates, claims that high drug prices are necessary to fund research and development are unfounded: The truth is that drug companies funnel the bulk of their resources into the marketing of products of dubious benefit. Meanwhile, as profits soar, the companies brazenly use their wealth and power to push their agenda through Congress, the FDA, and academic medical centers.

Zeroing in on hugely successful drugs like AZT (the first drug to treat HIV/AIDS), Taxol (the best-selling cancer drug in history), and the blockbuster allergy drug Claritin, Dr. Angell demonstrates exactly how new products are brought to market. Drug companies, she shows, routinely rely on publicly funded institutions for their basic research; they rig clinical trials to make their products look better than they are; and they use their legions of lawyers to stretch out government-granted exclusive marketing rights for years. They also flood the market with copycat drugs that cost a lot more than the drugs they mimic but are no more effective.

The American pharmaceutical industry needs to be saved, mainly from itself, and Dr. Angell proposes a program of vital reforms, which includes restoring impartiality to clinical research and severing the ties between drug companies and medical education. Written with fierce passion and substantiated with in-depth research, The Truth About the Drug Companies is a searing indictment of an industry that has spun out of control.

11-25-15 HIV pill in 5,000% price rise will be made cheaper in US
HIV pill in 5,000% price rise will be made cheaper in US
The company that sparked an outcry by raising the price of its HIV drug in the US by 5,000% says it will cut its price for some users. But only by 50%. It still is at a 2,500% price increase. Martin Shkreli's drug company Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to 62-year old drug Daraprim and increased the price per pill from $13.50 to $750. Turing said it will cut the price by 50% for hospitals and offer financial assistance to individuals. However, the company will keep its list price at the new higher level. In September Turing promised to reduce the price. The pill costs around $1 for patients in Europe. (Webmaster's comment: Kind of makes the point doesn't it.)

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The Truth About the Drug Companies
How They Decieve Us and What To Do About It

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The Truth About the Drug
Companies
for exposing who is really in control of our medical care,
or lack of it, for our inability to pay enough to the already rich.