Big pharma

by Jacky Law

The operating practices of the pharmaceutical industry, and specifically “big pharma”, have come under increased scrutiny and criticism in recent years. Suspicion has fallen on their approach to product promotion, health scares that have lead to product withdrawals, the economic argument over the return on investment in research and development and now the scientific basis of testing new products and biopharmaceutical agents. What is going wrong for “big pharma”?

Jacky Law’s well-researched book provides an extensive assessment. It puts into context the historical growth of the “blockbuster” pill, and the “this pill will solve your problem” mentality that has dominated medical practice for the past 30 years. It reflects on how the balance of power between industry, prescribers, governments and, especially, more informed patients is changing.

This book should be read by anyone interested in health and disease. The scope of the book covers a full range of issues including how we are led to perceive health, how commercial interests create markets for products, how vested interests prevent openness within the regulatory framework and how the public is losing trust in those who are supposed to act as its advocates. A more inquisitive public and stronger patient advocate groups may ensure increased openness in the future.

Nick Hutton (an independent health care consultant with extensive experiencein UK and European markets)

Citation: The Salvadore URI: 10001597

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