Pain Killer: A ''Wonder'' Drug's Trail of Addiction and Death

Pain Killer: A ''Wonder'' Drug's Trail of Addiction and Death

by Barry Meier
     
 

Pain Killer

THE EXTRAORDINARY AND TRUE STORY OF OXYCONTIN

EQUAL PARTS crime thriller, medical detective story, and business exposé, Pain Killer takes a hard-hitting look at how a powerful drug touted as the salvation for millions triggered a national tragedy. At its inception, the legal narcotic OxyContin was seen as a pharmaceutical dream

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Overview

Pain Killer

THE EXTRAORDINARY AND TRUE STORY OF OXYCONTIN

EQUAL PARTS crime thriller, medical detective story, and business exposé, Pain Killer takes a hard-hitting look at how a powerful drug touted as the salvation for millions triggered a national tragedy. At its inception, the legal narcotic OxyContin was seen as a pharmaceutical dream, a "wonder" drug that would herald a sea change in medical care while reaping vast profits for its maker. It did do that; but it also unleashed a public health crisis that cut a swath of despair and crime through unsuspecting small towns, suburbs, and cities across the country. As reports of OxyContin overdoses made front-page and network news, doctors, narcotics agents, regulators, industry executives, and lawmakers raced in, scrambling to slow the damage. Behind it all stood one of America's wealthiest families, and a drug company whose relentless promotion helped fuel the problem

Written by award-winning journalist Barry Meier, whose special report in the New York Times triggered national interest in OxyContin, Pain Killer chronicles the rise of the multibillion dollar pain management industry and lays bare its excesses and abuses.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Mr. Meier specifically takes aim at the company that makes OxyContin, Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Conn. He suggests that it was slow to address reports of OxyContin's misuse because the drug brings in revenue of about a billion dollars annually. The Food and Drug Administration also comes in for strong criticism for permitting the early marketing of OxyContin as a relatively nonaddicting pain medication. — David F. Musto
Library Journal - Library Journal
The problem of drug abuse has no simple solution, especially when the drug in question has valid medical uses. How do we make medications accessible to those who need them while keeping them away from those who abuse them? How much responsibility should pharmaceutical companies bear for the misuse of their products? In this well-documented treatise on the narcotic OxyContin, Meier places the blame squarely on the pharmaceutical industry. A New York Times reporter who covers the intersection of business, public policy, and health, he chronicles the development, marketing, advertising, and sale of OxyContin, manufactured by Purdue Pharma, but focuses on that drug's abuse within a particular community in Virginia. The sensationalist title makes the author's bias clear; he characterizes the entire medical specialty of pain management as a front for pushing narcotics. In addition, the text, which started as a Times series, retains its news feature feel. However, the book does a good job of showing that the pharmaceutical industry (like any other) exists to make a profit-which can conflict with the greater social good. Appropriate for larger public libraries; with Rush Limbaugh's recent admission of his addiction to painkillers, there will be interest.Eris Weaver, Redwood Health Lib., Petaluma, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781579546380
Publisher:
Rodale Press, Inc.
Publication date:
10/17/2003
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.13(d)

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