By Marcia Angell
In the course of her 20 years on the New England magazine of medication, Dr. Marcia Angell had a front-row seat at the appalling spectacle of the pharmaceutical undefined. She watched drug businesses stray from their unique project of studying and production invaluable medications and as an alternative develop into enormous advertising machines with unparalleled keep an eye on over their very own fortunes. She observed them achieve approximately unlimited effect over clinical study, schooling, and the way medical professionals do their jobs. She sympathized because the American public, really the aged, struggled and more and more did not meet spiraling prescription drug costs. Now, during this daring, hard-hitting new publication, Dr. Angell exposes the surprising fact of what the pharmaceutical has become–and argues for crucial, long-overdue change.Currently american citizens spend a impressive $200 billion every year on pharmaceuticals. As Dr. Angell powerfully demonstrates, claims that top drug costs are essential to fund learn and improvement are unfounded: the fact is that drug businesses funnel the majority in their assets into the promoting of goods of doubtful profit. in the meantime, as gains jump, the firms overtly use their wealth and tool to push their time table via Congress, the FDA, and educational clinical centers.Zeroing in on highly profitable medicinal drugs like AZT (the first drug to regard HIV/AIDS), Taxol (the best-selling melanoma drug in history), and the blockbuster hypersensitivity drug Claritin, Dr. Angell demonstrates precisely how new items are delivered to industry. Drug businesses, she exhibits, often depend upon publicly funded associations for his or her easy learn; they rig medical trials to make their items glance larger than they're; they usually use their legions of attorneys to stretch out government-granted particular advertising rights for years. additionally they flood the marketplace with copycat medicines that rate much more than the medicine they mimic yet aren't any extra effective.The American pharmaceutical has to be kept, typically from itself, and Dr. Angell proposes a software of significant reforms, which include restoring impartiality to scientific examine and severing the binds among drug businesses and clinical schooling. Written with fierce ardour and substantiated with in-depth learn, the reality concerning the Drug businesses is a searing indictment of an that has spun uncontrolled.
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Extra resources for The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It
The development part of R&D is itself divided into two stages-preclinical and clinical. The preclinical stage has to do with finding promising drug candidates and then studying their properties in animals and cell cultures. Companies keep vast libraries of drug candidates-molecules that can now be screened very rapidly by computerized methods to see if they will target the Achilles' heel found by the basic research. In addition, new molecules can be synthesized or extracted from animal, plant, or mineral sources.
In 1938, in the wake of a cluster of deaths from the use of a poisonous solvent in a new sulfa drug, Congress decided that the FDA should take more systematic steps to protect the public. Accordingly, the agency was given the specific task of re33 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DRUG COMPANIES quiring drug companies to prove that their products were safe before they could be sold. It wasn't until 1951, however, that prescriptions were required. In that year, Congress decided that doctors' prescriptions would be necessary to purchase drugs that could not be used safely without medical expertise.
It is crucial that new drugs be shown to be safe and effective, as judged by an impartial agency responsible for the public health and not a corporation responsible for the value of its shareholders' stock. The alternative is to go back to 1906, when anything and everything could be sold as a miracle cure and the watchword was caveat emptor. As for all the "me-too" drugs that now constitute the major output of the pharmaceutical industry, it's very hard to make the case that the world should be in any hurry for the next one.
The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It by Marcia Angell