Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines

by Melody Petersen (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Drug companies have institutionalized deception, said a former pharmaceutical
executive at a 1990 Senate hearing. And former New York Times reporter Petersen
details these deceptions with information that will be startling even to those
who closely follow the news on big pharma. Her subtitle, How the Pharmaceutical
Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the
Nation on Prescription Drugs, is most effectively illustrated in a chapter
detailing Parke-Davis's aggressive marketing of the epilepsy drug Neurontin for
everything, in blatant disregard of regulations against promoting drugs for uses
not approved by the FDA. Such reporting, rather than style or analysis, is
Petersen's strength. Much of what she recounts—such as the glut of copycat drugs
like antacids, and marketers' lavish wining and dining of doctors—has been
covered in books by others, like Marcia Angell. But Petersen fleshes out these
issues and names prominent doctors who, she says, are on the take. She is
particularly strong on the ghostwriting of medical journal articles by
advertising agencies. She also covers less familiar matters, like the
environmental impact of drug residues in water. There are quibbles; for
instance, Petersen accepts without examination the bromide that most people take
prescription drugs as a quick fix. But she ends with tough, sound suggestions
for reforms to make the pharmaceutical industry honest and to protect consumers.


"Everyone talks about health care, but few ask why we're so sick to begin with.
Melody Petersen's book goes a long way toward explaining that the people who
came up with the 'cures' are actually the problem." —Bill Maher, Real Time

"A devastating, often shocking, critique of a once proud industry that has been
converted by corporate greed into a vast marketing machine that is often a
menace to health. Petersen supports her indictment with an abundance of
fascinating detail and human interest stories. An excellent contribution to the
growing demand for better regulation of an industry that has grown way too
powerful and heedless of the interests of its customers." —Marcia Angell, M. D.,
Senior Lecturer in Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Arnold S. Relman,
M. D., Prof. Emeritus of Medicine and of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Product Details

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (March 18, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0374228272



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