Reviews

Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime – How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare

This fascinating if sometimes uncomfortable book deals not with the triumphs that drugs have brought society, but the ‘failures’ – the author’s term – of the drug industry.

It examines how clinical trials are undertaken – the apparent conflicts of interest, including prescribers receiving sponsorship from drug companies – the ways medicines are sold, and how drug companies are regulated. It then goes on to review specific drugs.

As a doctor, medical researcher, and former drug company representative who ‘sold’ drugs to other doctors, the author seems well placed to undertake this review, and he provides a wealth of evidence to support his position.

He argues powerfully for the need to reform the current system of drug research, trials and licensing. As well as pointing out the flaws in the current system, the author suggests reforms.

One important point to note – although the author sees the same characteristics in the drug industry and drug companies as can be seen in organised crime, this book does not actually examine or discuss organised crime.

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