The Truth About Drug Companies

The Truth About Drug Companies (2004) by Marcia Angell describes how pharmaceutical companies manipulate science and US politics in order to make more money.
Angell was on the staff of the New England Journal of Medicine for over 20 years and became its first female editor. She has had extensive experience dealing with and observing how big pharma operates.
The accusations that Angell levels at the drug companies are that they only publish successful trials, game phase 4 trials, manipulate doctors with subsidized ‘education’ that is really a sale pitch, game the US patent system, lobby to ensure that the US government, a major purchaser of drugs doesn’t negotiate hard on price and sets the rules up to maximise profit. The book goes into detail and makes a strong case on each point. The fact that the rest of the world pays substantially less than the US does is very true and quite remarkable.
Angell doesn’t look at how the US insurance system and Medicare and Medicaid encourage people to get more expensive drugs if they are paid for by other people with little contribution from the user but the issue could be added.
The book is a solid, well researched, well reasoned and interesting look at how drug companies have manipulated the system.


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