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On the Take: How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health

by Jerome P. Kassirer (Author)



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
"Some physicians become known as whores." This is strong language in Kassirer's
mostly temperate but tough look at how big business is corrupting medicine—but
according to Kassirer, one doctor's wife used the word "whore" to describe her
husband's accepting high fees to promote medical products. Such personal
anecdotes distinguish Kassirer's look at the conversion of America's health-care
system into a commercial enterprise. Kassirer, former editor-in-chief of the
prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, notes the range of conflicts of
interest between profit-centered business and people-centered medicine, such as
the drug industry's huge expenditures (in the billions) for courting doctors to
use their products, for recruiting physicians to tout their drugs or, more
slyly, to present seemingly objective medical discussions that, on closer
examination, do favor the company's product over others. Kassirer also covers
the abuses of both fee-for-service (which can lead doctors to perform
unnecessary but lucrative tests and procedures) and HMOs (which reward doctors
for keeping costs down). The author calls for more scrutiny of the health-care
industry by Congress and a "sustained public outcry against inappropriate
practices"; the banning of industry gifts to medical personnel; and—difficult to
imagine—disclosure to patients by doctors of financial incentives they are receiving.


Product Details

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition (October 20, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0195300041

 

 

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