Pharmageddon

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Overview


This searing indictment, David Healy’s most comprehensive and forceful argument against the pharmaceuticalization of medicine, tackles problems in health care that are leading to a growing number of deaths and disabilities. Healy, who was the first to draw attention to the now well-publicized suicide-inducing side effects of many anti-depressants, attributes our current state of affairs to three key factors: product rather than process patents on drugs, the classification of certain drugs as prescription-only, ...
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Pharmageddon

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Overview


This searing indictment, David Healy’s most comprehensive and forceful argument against the pharmaceuticalization of medicine, tackles problems in health care that are leading to a growing number of deaths and disabilities. Healy, who was the first to draw attention to the now well-publicized suicide-inducing side effects of many anti-depressants, attributes our current state of affairs to three key factors: product rather than process patents on drugs, the classification of certain drugs as prescription-only, and industry-controlled drug trials. These developments have tied the survival of pharmaceutical companies to the development of blockbuster drugs, so that they must overhype benefits and deny real hazards. Healy further explains why these trends have basically ended the possibility of universal health care in the United States and elsewhere around the world. He concludes with suggestions for reform of our currently corrupted evidence-based medical system.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Healy's contrarian streak and sharpness make this a disturbing, well-documented indictment that echoes many others in recent years, and one worth heeding."—Publishers Weekly

"Powerful. . . . Healy exposes the secrets that enable drug companies to circumvent protections. . . . And he also offers a solution."—Human Givens

Publishers Weekly
“We are quite literally taking drugs to save the lives of companies who have a greater interest in the vitality of the diseases they market drugs for than in our well-being,” argues British psychiatrist Healy (Let Them Eat Prozac) in this scathing critique of the billion global pharmaceutical industry. Healy chronicles the rise of blockbuster drugs like Prozac and Vioxx and how drug companies hyped them while downplaying their hazards. He takes particular aim at the outsourcing to private companies of clinical drug trials, once the domain of the National Institutes of Health and academics and now a billion industry. He is particularly incisive on how the drug industry distorts medical care by, say, encouraging the use of statins like Lipitor rather than advising patients to lose weight. But he seems contrarian in opposing chronic disease management because it provides drug companies the opportunity for long-term sales of drugs that manage, but do not cure, a condition. Still, Healy’s contrarian streak and sharpness make this a disturbing, well-documented indictment that echoes many others in recent years, and one worth heeding. Agent: Beverly Slopen, Beverly Slopen Literary Agency (Canada). (Mar.)
Human Givens

“Powerful. . . . Healy exposes the secrets that enable drug companies to circumvent protections. . . . And he also offers a solution.”
Metapsychology Online Reviews - E. James Lieberman

"We owe respect to David Healy for his knowledge, diligence and idealism. This and his other writings require expertise and courage..."
 
Library Journal
Healy (psychiatry, Cardiff Univ.; Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression) presents a well-documented and well-executed case against big pharma, forcing readers to think about both the pharmaceutical industry's role in their health care and the new development of drugs. Tracing how drug development and medical tests transitioned throughout the 20th century from addressing the diagnosis and cure of life-threatening diseases (e.g., X-rays, polio) to chronic disease management with potentially no end date (e.g., bone-density scans, bipolar disorder), the book tackles pharmaceutical companies' role in negligent clinical trials, ghostwriting in medical journals, new medical tests that encourage diagnosis, and the rise of blockbuster drugs. While other books address drug marketing (e.g., Marcia Angell's The Truth About the Drug Companies and John Abramson's Overdosed America), this title is much broader. Healy details the shift toward "lifestyle drugs," changes in patent law, hidden clinical trial results, off-label drugs use, and other topics. VERDICT Well written if sometimes dense, this book is for anyone who wishes to learn more about how the practice of medicine and development of drugs is changing.—Leigh Mihlrad, National Inst. of Health Lib., Bethesda, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520275768
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,395,729
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


David Healy is Professor of Psychiatry at Cardiff University in Britain and a former Secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology. He is the author of books including Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression, The Antidepressant Era, and Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments

Introduction
1. They Used to Call It Medicine
2. Medicine and the Marketers
3. Follow the Evidence
4. Doctoring the Data
5. Trussed in Guidelines
6. The Mismeasurement of Medicine
7. The Eclipse of Care
8. Pharmageddon

Notes
Index

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