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Pharma by Gerald PosnAward winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Gerald Posner traces the heroes and villains of the trillion dollar a year pharmaceutical industry and uncovers how those once entrusted with improving life have often betrayed that ideal to corruption and reckless profiteering with deadly conseuences Pharmaceutical breakthroughs such as anti­biotics and vaccines rank among some of the greatest advancements in human history Yet exorbitant prices for life saving drugs safety recalls affecting tens of millions of Americans and soaring rates of addiction and overdose on pre­scription opioids have caused many to lose faith in drug companies Now. I did not read the book cover to cover I read selected chapters and skimmed others From the title I don’t know why I expected to find a glimmer of hope clearly that was just stupidIn 1950 George Merck gave an address to the graduating class of the Medical College of Virginia“We try to remember that medicine is for the patient We try never to forget that medicine is for the people It is not for the profit” Pg6061Maybe he believed it in his heart but it never did translate into the operation of his pharmaceutical companyChapters dealing with pharmaceutical companies advertising their products to the public are stomach churning There are chapters that delve into pandemics #32 #51 both of special interest at this timeIn the end we are left with the horrifying fact that Big Pharma is not in the least bit interested in the patientit’s all about the money Profit is the end game at all cost – and not just nominal profit Big Pharma is only concerned with Big ProfitsAs horrifying and depressing as it is this book should be reuired reading for every single person on earthTrust me when I tell you no one is going to save us from the money grabbing pharmaceutical companies we are on our own I am now in need of a tranuilizer

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Americans are demanding a national reckoning with a monolithic industry Pharma introduces brilliant scientists in corruptible government regulators and brave whistleblowers facing off against company exec­utives often blinded by greed A business that profits from treating ills can create far deadlier problems than it cures Addictive products are part of the industry’s DNA from the days when corner drugstores sold morphine heroin and cocaine to the past two decades of dangerously overprescribed opioids Pharma also uncovers the real story of the Sacklers the family that became one of America’s wealthiest from the success of OxyContin their blockbuste. If you try to keep up with the health care industry you will soon want to throw your arms up in despair and scream it is such a broad area covering nearly a fifth of the economy and incorporating a wide range of medical specialties health care business operations human resource management scientific research and innovation and much else affecting everybody and becoming important as people get older and chronic conditions proliferate Try to figure out the insurance and financing details as well as the pricing One area where US health care clearly leads the world in in pricing high pricingBut even if you make some progress in understanding health care there is the matter of Pharma a huge industry on its own related to health care and immensely profitable Pharma is also highly complex filled with dozens of product types each with its own science wrapped up in government regulation and critical to the public welfare Successful drugs will gain notoriety but pharma products can also play starring roles in public health crises most recently concerning the abuse of opioid pain medications such as OxyContin not to mention the illegal drug trade The economics of pharma is itself interesting both abstractly due to the role of development costs in launching new drugs versus the low marginal costs of new doses of approved drugs and specifically due to the business arrangements that develop around the development approval manufacture and distribution of new drugs It is a difficult business to get ones arms aroundGerald Posner is an investigative journalist who has written a new history of Pharma I will add without any spoilers that given the title of the book Mr Posner has a pronounced critical view of the industry which he does not try to hide I personally did not find the book unbalanced however and Mr Posner chronicles the industry’s accomplishments even while tracing out the less admirable parts of the business that have been present since its inception in selling patent medicines Readers who have not read much of the early history of the drug business will find lots of cool trivia for example that heroin was an early cough medicine that was only banned much later for its addictive propertiesThis is not an academic book but rather a long combination of different stories and critical incidents that when tied together trace out the arc of the business The story is very well referenced in case readers wish to follow up The importance early antibiotics such as penicillin and streptomycin along with wonder drugs aspirin are early highlights The growth of the industry after WW2 is looked at in terms of the companies that were part of the government pool to produce penicillin during the war sort of like how war business helped the auto companies and the beer companies to take off postwarThe development of the business into the modern era builds around new classes of drugs tranuilizers painkillers the evolution of drug development and regulation processes and the marketing of pharmaceuticals to patients and doctors The information and marketing side of the business leads to increased emphasis of the role of the Sackler family in an amazing range of Pharma ventures and publicationsAs the history develops topics such as HIVAIDS and othe pandemics come up along with the Opioid crisis up through 2019 This book as a March 2020 publication date so it does not touch upon the Covid 19 virus but Posner’s story does get one thinking about the processes already under way for developing and distributing a vaccine for the virus Operation Warp SpeedAfter reading the book one could easily be troubled by industry irregularity and pricing but I was troubled by that before I read the book Along with providing lots of detail on uestionable sides of the business at least to many today Posner’s book also makes clear that the industry has also done much good Think of the value of various heart medications for millions The substitute product fo Tagamet was for some people ulcer surgery Some antihistamines actually workPosner did not change my opinions on big Pharma but he sure provide a better basis upon which to draw conclusions and tells his story well The book is long but I do not know what he could have left out and the story moves along uickly

SUMMARY Pharma by Gerald Posner

READ & DOWNLOAD Pharma by Gerald Posner 107 ↠ Award winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Gerald Posner traces the heroes and villains of the trillion dollar a year pharmaceutical industry and uncovers how those once entrusted with improving life have often betrayed that ideal to corruption and reckless profiteering—with deadR narcotic painkiller at the center of the opioid crisis Relying on thousands of pages of government and corporate archives dozens of hours of interviews with insiders and previously classified FBI files Posner exposes the secrets of the Sacklers’ rise to power revelations that have long been buried under a byzantine web of interlocking companies with ever changing names and hidden owners The unexpected twists and turns of the Sackler family saga are told against the startling chronicle of a powerful industry that sits at the intersection of public health and profits Pharma reveals how and why American drug com­panies have put earnings ahead of patien. I knew that pharmaceutical companies were not very ethical in their pursuit of profit but I never realized the extent Very good journalistic work non judgmental description with the exception of the title and thorough research A very good read