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Enjoy this bracing tour through "the history, horror, and headaches" of clinical trials, described by a guide with both a detached delivery and knowledgeable perspective. Former Newsday and Baltimore Sun reporter O'Meara, a Type I diabetic, signed up for a trial offering a possible cure, so he may be more than a little invested in how trials work. But his self-interest is a compelling element as he surveys a $24-billion-a-year industry that affects the lives of 20 million Americans. His investigation briskly sails through the interests that spark clinical trials, the money that pays for them and the "bonanza of cash and/or equipment and medications" for developing countries where researchers find it cheaper to recruit trial subjects. Best and most sweetly, however, the book delves into the human guinea pigs, such as gene therapy trial participant whose death raised questions about government oversight and the self-interest of the lead researcher. O'Meara presents lessons from a medical front that offers something more important than success or failure-hope. "I'm still able to say, 'At least I tried.'" O'Meara notes. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.