The truth about the drug companies, Marcia Angell

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The truth about the drug companies, Marcia Angell

Postby NHE » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:53 pm

I just finished reading The Truth About The Drug Companies, How They Deceive Us And What To Do About It by Marcia Angell, M.D. After reading this book I felt that it was important for me to share my impressions of it with the MS community here at ThisIsMS. I feel quite strongly that it should be required reading for anyone entering a medical profession, such as a medical student or nurse in training, as well as someone working in a clerical position such as in a doctor's office or elsewhere in the medical industry. Last but not least, I feel the book is also highly relevant for the consumer especially those of us that, at least for the time being, are taking long term and particularly expensive treatments.

The author, Marcia Angell, served for 20 years at the New England Journal of Medicine. She joined the editorial staff in 1979, became Executive Editor in 1988, and Editor-in-Chief in 1999 leaving that post in June of 2000. She is now a senior lecturer at the Harvard Medical School.

The book is well written. Though at times I found it tried my patience as it went into some detail about the pharmaceutical industry's finances. However, that doesn't take away from my overall positive impressions and I would still recommend it as necessary reading for anyone that has anything to do with the medical industry either as a patient or a professional. The book offers an in-depth review of how the pharmaceutical industry manipulates nearly every aspect of the industry including the FDA, Congress, medical research, publications, and doctors. The author also offers a chapter in which she discusses specific recommendations for improving the problems discussed in the book as well as a section discussing actions that individuals can take. These actions include questions to ask your doctor, senator, and representative.

Finally, I considered going into depth with specific examples from the book, however, I though that it would be more efficient to point folks to this page which offers an overview of the book's thesis.

NHE
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Postby rasnet6 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:26 am

Hi NHE,

for anything below that is written it is not a response to your mail.

Please do not take offence as it is not an attack on your post in fact i thought it was very interesting and i plan to read the book. There are two sides to every story.


I just thought...

I read a lot about how bad the drug companies are and how their costs are so high etc.. but i have never ever read anything good about them. That seems a little unfair to me... I feel as if I have to put up some kind of defence here...

OK so I work for a Blue chip pharma company, in drug research, but i still have MS and i still suffer.

My experience is that the pharma companies are a business, they owe us nothing really... they are out to make money.. Mars bars have increased in price over the years..... Poor comparison I know but the principle is there.

What would happen without the pharma companies?? there would be no research into new drugs cause there wouldnt be enough money if we all paid peanuts for the drugs we need..

The effort that goes into developing a new drug is incredible. No government funded incentive would be able to continue their work!

My work involves the safety of these drugs... we start with millions and narrow it down to 20-30, then to four or five, then to two then the drug itself... what we are paying for is the investment required to produce and research the million compounds that have the potential to cure... Every day we get rid of many many compounds.. this process takes over ten years.. think about the salaries, the scientific equipment, the raw materials.. its costly stuff - just to make one drug.

This is what we pay for.. it may seem like a high price to pay.. We pay the cost of all the work performed on the unsafe drugs that we removed from the testing process, people forget that there are cost associated with these...

The MDs get their extortionate bonuses that make us all sick with envy.. and blargh blarg... but isnt it worth it just for the one thing that would make our lives a bit easier? They have to make their money after all or they wouldnt do it....

Now I am not saying that there isnt corruption cause im sure there is, but without these pharma companies where would we be... dead with somekind of childhood illness? (dramatic I know)

The most important thing really is without the pharma companies.. who the hell would pay my wages... :lol:

(I would love to tell you that my wages increase whenever they increase a drug price.. but that not true.. I earn the same regardless.. shame really !!!)
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Postby rasnet6 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:30 am

Oh and one more thing.. I am no expert on the financial bits.. but I have published a lot of my reasearch and I can honestly say that the company I work for has had no influence about the content of my publications.. None whatsoever .. and if they did try to change it I would refuse to publish doctored information...
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Required reading!

Postby lyndacarol » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:58 pm

I respect and understand rasnet6's position; however, I have just read The Truth About the Drug Companies and agree with NHE that it should be required reading for all of us here!
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Interview with Dr. Marcia Angell

Postby NHE » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:36 pm

Dr. Marcia Angell, senior lecturer at the Harvard Medical School and former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine and author of the book The Truth About The Drug Companies, How They Deceive Us And What To Do About It reviewed above, was recently interviewed on NPR's Radio Open Source. You can find a discussion about the interview here and listen to an MP3 recording of the interview here.

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