Saturday, May 17, 2008

OUR DAILY MEDS by Melody Petersen


OUR DAILY MEDS: HOW THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES TRANSFORMED THEMSELVES INTO SLICK MARKETING MACHINES AND HOOKED THE NATION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.
by Melody Peterson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
448 pages
Size: 6 x 9
Notes/Bibliography/Index
$26.00
Hardcover
Sarah Crichton Books
Pub Date: 03/2008
ISBN: 0-374-22827-2
EXCERPT
In the last thirty years, the big pharmaceutical companies have transformed themselves into marketing machines selling dangerous medicines as if they were Coca-Cola or Cadillacs. They pitch drugs with video games and soft cuddly toys for children; promote them in churches and subways, at NASCAR races and state fairs. They’ve become experts at promoting fear of disease, just so they can sell us hope.

No question: drugs can save lives. But the relentless marketing that has enriched corporate executives and sent stock prices soaring has come with a dark side. Prescription pills taken as directed by physicians are estimated to kill one American every five minutes. And that figure doesn’t reflect the damage done as the overmedicated take to the roads.

Our Daily Meds connects the dots for the first time to show how corporate salesmanship has triumphed over science inside the biggest pharmaceutical companies and, in turn, how this promotion driven industry has taken over the practice of medicine and is changing American life.

It is an ageless story of the battle between good and evil, with potentially life-changing consequences for everyone, not just the 65 percent of Americans who unscrew a prescription cap every day. An industry with the promise to help so many is now leaving a legacy of needless harm.

I read somewhere -- sorry forgot where-- that it is often a patient who suggests a treatment to her doctor. Patient has seen the ads in some women's magazine or on television. When I used to work in the schools, the schools got so much advertising from ciba about ritalin ...the next thing you knew the teachers thought themselves experts on ADD, were diagnosing everyone with it, and thought ritalin was the only cure for it.

Check out more on the book here.
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/
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