The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers |
by Katharine Greider (Author), Katherine Greider (Author)
Washington Post Book World, July 13, 2003.
"a highly informative description of how and why drug companies are such
powerful, successful businesses." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
As the pharmaceutical industry invests more and more in the development of new
drugs, true breakthroughs are few and far between. Into the breach comes a
panoply of product-line extensions and me-too drugs aimed at grabbing market
share. The industry plows its high profits back into research, but invests an
equal or greater sum in flogging its products in every imaginable venue.
Research studies are designed to support marketing claims. Many doctors all over
the country get their first information about new drugs from a salesperson. And,
increasingly, prescription drugs are pitched to consumers on TV and the internet
with images of hope, terror, or chic. Evidence-based practice guidelines, which
endeavor to get the right medicines to those who will benefit most, can't be
heard over the din.
Having created an unprecedented number of "megabrands"—blockbuster drugs with
huge sales—and undergone an extraordinary wave of consolidation, some drug
companies now find themselves in a precarious position. Patents are expiring on
flagship products. In order to sustain the growth Wall Street has come to
expect, these companies must produce billions of dollars worth of new
revenue—fast. But can Americans continue to bankroll Operation Grow Big Pharma?
Must we swallow the bad with the good?
Paperback: 189 pages
Publisher: Public Affairs (May 6, 2000)