Miracle Medicines: Seven Lifesaving Drugs and the People Who Created Them [NOOK Book]


It’s the business of saving lives.

Miracle Medicines goes behind the scenes of the pharmaceutical industry and into the high-security laboratories to tell the stories of the men and women---chemists, physiologists, medical and clinical...
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Miracle Medicines: Seven Lifesaving Drugs and the People Who Created Them

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It’s the business of saving lives.

Miracle Medicines goes behind the scenes of the pharmaceutical industry and into the high-security laboratories to tell the stories of the men and women---chemists, physiologists, medical and clinical researchers, engineers---who have chosen to toil for years in the lab in order to transform scientific theories into new lifesaving medicines.

You’ll witness the day-to-day labors, victories and defeats of the dedicated professionals who are waging a war against the diseases that still plague mankind. From the confines of their laboratories, these pharmaceutical adventurers explore unknown territories in health and science.

Miracle Medicines reveals what really happens during the long and uncertain journey that each new drug and its creators must endure from theory, to research, to testing and, finally, FDA approval and delivery to the public. It’s a very human story within the context of fascinating scientific innovation.

Through first hand interviews you’ll also meet the patients who benefit from these manmade miracles and learn how, within their bloodstreams, an ongoing battle is raging. The drugs profiled are:

Advair: GlaxoSmithKline’s revolutionary asthma medication, the first packaged as both a control and emergency drug.

Gleevec: The Novartis’ chronic myeloid leukemia treatment born from decades of medical research in a field of study that was once considered hopeless.

Humalog: Eli Lilly’s reinvention of insulin to control diabetes has been described as being better than nature

Lipitor: Pfizer’s miracle antidote for high cholesterol that was nearly lost to the pharmaceutical vaults and has since become the world’s top-selling medicine.

Norvir: Abbott’s contribution to the fight against HIV that nearly erases all traces of the disease from the bloodstream and prolongs the life of patients.

Remicade: Created for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases, Johnson & Johnson’s revolutionary biomedicine was developed from technology that once was only found in science fiction.

Seroquel: AstraZeneca’s treatment for both schizophrenia and bipolar mania that has given millions of psychiatrics a new lease on life.

This compelling and truth-revealing book will forever change the way you view the medicines in your medicine cabinet, and the people who create them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440696077
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • File size: 444 KB

Meet the Author

Robert L. Shook, a prolific nonfiction writer, has authored more than 50 books. Several have been best sellers including Longaberger, a New York Times Number One best seller. He is currently working on a marketing book titled,The Customer Rules.
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Table of Contents

Introduction     1
Abbott     9
The Fight Against AIDS     16
Astra Zeneca     42
A New Lease on Life     50
Eli Lilly     86
The Better-Than-Nature Insulin     95
Glaxo Smith Kline     138
Clearing the Airways     148
Johnson & Johnson     180
A Miracle Biotech Medicine     192
Novartis     242
A Designer Medicine that Targets Cancer Cells     251
Pfizer     298
How the World's Bestselling Drug Nearly Didn't Happen     308
Afterword     353
Acknowledgments     355
Notes     359
Index     377
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2007

    Modern Miracles lives up to its title

    Each of the seven stories in Miracle Medicines describes a health problem that afflicts people all around us, perhaps family members ¿ maybe even you. Author Robert Shook introduces us to the people of Big Pharma, as insiders call the pharmaceutical industry, and vividly describes their struggle to develop effective drugs and bring them to market. It is not an easy process, and, after reading this book, you will understand why pharmaceuticals can be so expensive. This book is a must read for three groups: 1. those who want to know more about the drugs they depend upon for health, if not life itself, 2. anyone who wants to understand the business side of the pharmaceutical industry and how drugs are developed, and 3. readers who enjoy good short stories. Miracle Medicines is really a collection of fascinating tales with a common theme ¿ how people working together can bring health and hope to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2007

    A Great Read

    I expected to be enlightened by this book, but I never expected to enjoy it. I was in for a big surprise. Author Robert L. Shook¿s writing is always first rate. However, in this book he has accomplished three rather remarkable things. First, instead of simply presenting well-researched and well-organized information ¿ which could have made for a dull read ¿ he has brought the information to life, creating seven intriguing stories about the dedicated and talented people who embody the pharmaceutical industry. I¿ll offer one example. Over a relatively short period of time we have come to accept AIDS as a 'tragic' feature of contemporary society. I was fascinated to read about how, when, and where AIDS actually began, how it spread in this country, how physicians eventually identified HIV, and how pharmaceutical companies rushed to develop tools to diagnose and treat it. And, by the way, I found the profiles of the pharmaceutical companies quite inspiring ¿ great things really can come from rather humble beginnings. Second, Shook takes technical information and makes it simple and easy to understand. This is no small feat. Finally, Shook helps the reader understand ¿ yes, even appreciate ¿ the contributions of pharmaceutical companies. In recent years, people have come to regard ¿Big Pharma¿ as they do ¿Big Oil¿ ¿ i.e., as companies that exploit consumers who have no choice but to buy their products. Shook helps us to see pharmaceutical companies in a far more sympathetic light. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good read and wants to learn about the ever-changing world in which we live.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2007

    'Miracle Medicines'

    Stigmatizing the Pharmaceutical industry has become politically correct. Bob Shook has chosen to counter the crowd. It¿s an extraordinary accomplishment requiring herculean effort. He pulled it off with simplicity and aplomb.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2007

    Miracle Medicines: Seven Lifesaving Drugs and the People Who Created Them

    Five Stars My wife and I bought a copy of MIRACLE MEDICINES so we could read the chapter on Johnson & Johnson's Remicade, a biotech medicine for treating immune disorders. The medicine is approved by the FDA to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Our 17-year old son has ulcerative colitis, hence our interest in the book. The author has done a remarkable job with his research. It's obvious from the people he quotes in the book that he spent many hours interviewing scientists and managers of the seven pharmaceutical companies that make the drugs he writes about. Shook has taken a very complicated subject and made it easy to understand, as well as interesting to read. Like many Americans, I too have complained about the high costs of drugs, but after reading this book, I have a more clear understanding about why they are so expensive. If this is the price we must pay to relieve pain and suffering, so be it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2007

    Wow....take a look at this one!

    I really enjoyed Robert L. Shook's latest book, Miracle Medicines. It takes readers behind the scenes to meet these dedicated scientists who spend so many years in labs working on drugs, most of which will never make it to the general public. He explains why our medicines cost so much money--today's newly released drugs average $800 million, and in a highly competitive field, there is no guarantee they will ever make a profit. I enjoyed learning about the seven different medicines that are featured in this book, and how incredibly brilliant the men and women who made them obviously are. Shook has taken complicated subject matter and made it easy to read....and I am suggesting it as my next book club read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2007

    Miracle Medicines: Seven Lifesaving Drugs and the People Who Created Them

    I really appreciated this book. It gave me interesting knowledge regarding important medications that even my doctor was not aware of. I will use it often.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2007

    Fascinating Stories Behind Wonder rugs

    'Miracle Medicines' is a terrific read that puts you inside the fascinating stories behind the wonder drugs of modern medicine. The writing is engrossing and easy to read. This is information that both medical professionals and the lay public should know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2007

    Robert Shook's book a 'Miracle Read'

    Robert L. Shook's book is a revealing read. It is a thoroughly researched book about what Big Pharmacy does that many people aren¿t aware of . Robert Shook takes us behind the scenes to meet the actual people who spend years in labs researching and testing medicines during the costly clinical trials. As you read this book, you'll realize how amazing these scientists are. Their chemists do things in the restrictions of their labs, in their microbiologic worlds, they trek to microscopic places, and as Robert Shook writes, venturing into unfamiliar territories. The author fittingly describes their adventures as akin to those of eminent explorers of. He calls their discoveries as equally thrilling and also hugely valuable. This is one of the most illuminating and engrossing books I have read. The author has taken a very multifaceted subject and made it an easy read. I highly commend it as 'have to reading' for anyone with a inquisitive mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2007

    Very informative and interesting

    I loved this book. Robert Shook has taken a hard-to-understand subject and made it interesting and enjoyable to read. Like a lot of people, I felt the pharmaceutical companies were selling drugs at inflated prices and were taking unfair advantage of the buyer. But after reading this book, I have a better understanding of why it costs so much to make a new medicine. Shook explains in great detail why the price tag of a new medicine averages $800 million. It's not just the research and development, conducting the all-important clinical trials costs large sums of money. I also learned tht a pharmaceutical company must have a manufacturing facililty in operation before the new medicine is approved by the FDA. This is required so the company can prove it has the dability to make and inventory the medicine after its approval. We take it for granted that when our doctor prescribes a medication that all we have to do is stop by the pharmaacy and pick it up. But imagine if it wasn't there and you couldn't find a place to purchase it. If you were in severe pain or your life was in jeopardy without it, the least of your worries would be how much it costs. The book reports that a manufacturing plant can cost hundreds of milions of dollars (including the hiring and training of several hundred people in advance of its opening), and if the drug does poorly in the final stages of the clinical trials, this is money down the drain. If people would realize the high risks involved that a pharmaceutical company incurs to introduce a new medicine, they would stop thinking they're getting ripped off by being overcharged for drugs. This book contains seven wonderful stories that make for fascinating reading. I highly recommend this book.

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