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Download The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It Audiobook

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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (306 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marcia Angell Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN: 9781415912911
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During her two decades at The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell had a front-row seat on the appalling spectacle of the pharmaceutical industry. She watched drug companies stray from their original mission of discovering and manufacturing useful drugs and instead become vast marketing machines with unprecedented control over their own fortunes. She saw them gain nearly limitless influence over medical research, education, and how doctors do their jobs. She sympathized as the American public, particularly the elderly, struggled and increasingly failed to meet spiraling prescription drug prices. Now, in this bold, hard-hitting new book, Dr. Angell exposes the shocking truth of what the pharmaceutical industry has become–and argues for essential, long-overdue change.

Currently Americans spend a staggering $200 billion each year on prescription drugs. As Dr. Angell powerfully demonstrates, claims that high drug prices are necessary to fund research and development are unfounded: The truth is that drug companies funnel the bulk of their resources into the marketing of products of dubious benefit. Meanwhile, as profits soar, the companies brazenly use their wealth and power to push their agenda through Congress, the FDA, and academic medical centers.

Zeroing in on hugely successful drugs like AZT (the first drug to treat HIV/AIDS), Taxol (the best-selling cancer drug in history), and the blockbuster allergy drug Claritin, Dr. Angell demonstrates exactly how new products are brought to market. Drug companies, she shows, routinely rely on publicly funded institutions for their basic research; they rig clinical trials to make their products look better than they are; and they use their legions of lawyers to stretch out government-granted exclusive marketing rights for years. They also flood the market with copycat drugs that cost a lot more than the drugs they mimic but are no more effective.

The American pharmaceutical industry needs to be saved, mainly from itself, and Dr. Angell proposes a program of vital reforms, which includes restoring impartiality to clinical research and severing the ties between drug companies and medical education. Written with fierce passion and substantiated with in-depth research, The Truth About the Drug Companies is a searing indictment of an industry that has spun out of control. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Truth About the Drug Companies is a sober, clear-eyed attack on the excesses of drug company power… a lucid, persuasive, and highly important book. The Boston Sunday Globe
  • “Her prose is clear and readable… Angell does an excellent job [making] a convincing case against Big Pharma. Chicago Sun-Times
  • If you’ve ever suffered prescription drug sticker shock, Dr. Marcia Angell’s The Truth About the Drug Companies is the book for you. Newsday
  • “In-depth and insightful Rocky Mountain News
  • “Put your money on Angell. We need to know why drugs cost what they do, and we need to know how our physicians choose the drugs they give us. St. Louis Post Dispatch
  • “Engaging and well-written San Antonio Express-News
  • Pharamceutical companies will need a new miracle pain reliever after the whipping they receive from Marcia Angell in her book….a starting point for serious discussion. The Hartford Courant
  • In what should serve as the Fast Food Nation of the drug industry, Angell… presents a searing indictment of ‘big pharma’ as corrupt and corrupting. Publishers Weekly
  • Dr. Angell’s case is tough, persuasive, and troubling. The New York Times
  • If informed criticism contains the sharpest stings, author Marcia Angell's jolting indictument of 'Big Pharma' might just be enough to pierce the beast's hide. Minneapolis Star Tribune

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Greg Walker | 2/5/2014

    " I had to read this for a class... I am about 30 pages into it and the biases of the author are already overwhelming. Unless you are a big government loving, business-hating liberal, this book is not for you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Iga | 12/20/2013

    " Almost too easy to read, at times a little naive, but gets at the heart of the truth... Big Pharma is screwing us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Muris | 10/7/2013

    " The great piece of evidence! The only thing I didn't like is a little bit too much of the repeating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 9/25/2013

    " I knew these companies were screwing us, but now I know how they do it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James Perkins | 9/4/2013

    " Nobody who reads this book will want to take a pill ever again. Dr Angell exposes the modern legal drugs trade for what it is, so deeply rooted in profit lust and political corruption, it's got nothing to do with curing disease and everything to do with making truckloads of money. Drug companies cry poor, yet they charge exorbitant prices for their products, drag out their patent rights as long as possible, and prevent the medicine being distributed more cheaply in poorer countries that desperately need it - all while they make even higher record profits every year. They spend a lot of time developing nearly identical drugs for trivial conditions like colds (because they can sell a lot), but hardly ever produce treatments for rare disorders, on which they might only break even. Despite claiming that they need to charge high prices to conduct research, they do almost none, instead piggy-backing on taxpayer-funded universities and research organizations, so their research is basically free. They pay doctors with "educational" seminars in exotic locations and provide them with misinformation so the medicos choose their drugs every time and even prescribe them for illnesses for which they were not designed, and on which they have minimal effect. Although I have been wary of the drugs trade for many years, this was the book that provided me with the evidence to back up my suspicions. Read it and be informed: despite being a few years old, and American in focus, it's still applicable around the world today - you will understand much better how you get your medicine and make better choices. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 1/9/2013

    " The subject matter was mostly familiar to me. However, I did learn some things. Dr. Angell explains the issues clearly and offers solutions. Although published in the early to mid-2000s, is it still current. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 12/28/2012

    " This was fairly good from a policy point of view, though I didn't really learn a whole lot from it that was new. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brock | 10/25/2012

    " This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to people who don't have significant interaction with medications (like doctors), but I would say that it is a MUST READ for all those who are doctors or in medical school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen Johnson | 10/22/2012

    " This book is a true eye opener about the corruption of the pharmaceutical industry. Jaw dropping at times, it sure does shed some light on America's medicine and the drug company money that the government is protecting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 7/17/2012

    " This book is very well researched and organized. Marcia Angell knows the subject inside and out. Maybe her next book will tell us which drugs are really just a marketing scam. Everyone should read this book to understand how corrupt the drug industry is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 5/13/2012

    " I read it for my health law paper and it scared me to death. So if you're into reading about why prescription drug companies are crazy/scary/manipulative/dangerous gazillionaires, knock yourself out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik | 3/26/2012

    " Should be required reading for anyone in medical school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 3/4/2011

    " Interesting book on how drug companies make a profit using the governement as their financial backers. Also, the conflict of interest between drug companies, doctors, and their patients. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jessica | 9/23/2010

    " If I could give it no stars, I would. What a rag. Worthy of something by Hannity or Coulter, with convenient Republican-esque "fact-finding." Ironic that it's supposed to be leftist. Any liberal, avid reader who knows an ounce about this industry will have a good, but annoyed, laugh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Court | 12/24/2009

    " Awfully slanted, but still compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 10/7/2009

    " A MUST READ!! Unlike most documentaries, expose's and the like, this book identifies the drug industries problems and make good suggestions about what to do about them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Court | 9/8/2009

    " Awfully slanted, but still compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brock | 7/12/2009

    " This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to people who don't have significant interaction with medications (like doctors), but I would say that it is a MUST READ for all those who are doctors or in medical school. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Iga | 5/24/2008

    " Almost too easy to read, at times a little naive, but gets at the heart of the truth... Big Pharma is screwing us. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 3/27/2008

    " I read it for my health law paper and it scared me to death. So if you're into reading about why prescription drug companies are crazy/scary/manipulative/dangerous gazillionaires, knock yourself out. "

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About the Author
Author Marcia Angell

Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine and now a member of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Social Medicine, is a nationally recognized authority in the field of health policy and medical ethics and an outspoken critic of the health care system. Time magazine named her one of the twenty-five most influential people in America. Dr. Angell is the author of Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received thirty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.