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[e-drug] List of books on medicines and/or Big Pharma

E-DRUG: List of 'activist' books on Big Pharma and/or medicines

Dear All

In 2007 E-Druggers helped to compile a list of books that examined 
aspects of the overuse of medicines, the 'business' of making and 
selling medicines, politics and medicines, regulation/pricing of 
medicines, etc. - the range is quite broad and difficult to define but 
one can browse the list to get an idea. The aim was to help list members 
discover books/sources that they might otherwise be unaware of. 

Jude Nwokike has prompted us to look at and update the list which we might then 
look at making available on the E-Drug server (in addition to 
circulating it on the list and having it in the archives) and via other 
appropriate sources.

1. We welcome any suggestions of additional titles to include that fall 
within the scope. Please check the list first to make sure it has not 
already been included.

2. A short description/review can be added to the title to help describe 
the content of the book and its importance. For those in the list 
without a description, please feel free to submit a description that we can add.

3. Books in languages other than English can be suggested but in that 
case please provide a translation of the title and state the language of 
the book.

Please submit your suggestions either to the list or to me directly at 

Thank you

Douglas Ball (co-moderator)


Abraham, John. Science, Politics and the Pharmaceutical Industry. 
Routledge 1995. He provides rare, detailed accounts of how new 
medicines get negotiated between industry reps and the FDA. Both come 
off looking badly. 

Abramson John, Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American 

Medicine. HarperCollins, 2004 ISBN 0 06 056852 6 

Adams, Stanley. Adam's vs Roche. London; Jonathan Cape; 1984. ISBN: 

Angell, Marcia. The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us, 
and What to Do About It. Wilkes and Hoffman; 2005. 

Avorn, Jerry. Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of 

Prescription Drugs. Vintage Books, 2005. 9781400030781 

Beardshaw, Virginia. Prescription for Change. The Hague: IOCU 1983 

Braithwaite, John. Corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry. 
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; 1984. 

Brody, Howard. Hooked: Ethics, the Medical Profession and the 
Pharmaceutical Industry. Littlefield; Rowman & Lanham: 2007. 

Chetley, Andrew. Healthy Business? World Health and the Pharmaceutical 
Industry. Zed Books; 1990. 

Chowdhury Z. The politics of essential drugs. The makings of a 

successful health strategy: lessons from Bangladesh. London: Zed 
Books/Dag Hammarskjold Foundation. 1995. 

Cohen, Jillian Clare; Schuklenk, Udo and Illingsworth, Patricia. The 

Power of Pills: Social, Ethical and Legal Issues in Drug Development, 

Marketing, and Pricing. London, Pluto Press, 2006. 

Conrad, Peter & Schneider, Joseph W. Deviance and Medicalization: From 
Badness to Sickness, St Louis: Mosby, 1980. 
Daemmrich, Arthur. Pharmacopolitics: Drug Regulation in the US and 
Germany, Univ North Carolina Press, 2004. 

Danzon, Patricia. Pharmaceutical Price Regulation: National Policies 
versus Global Interests, Amer Enterprise Institute, 1997. Those who do 
not know their opponent's arguments do not completely understand their own. 

Davis, Peter, (ed). Contested Ground: Public Concern and Private 
Interest in the Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Oxford Univ Press, 1996. 

Goozner, Merrill. The $800 Million Pill: The Truth behind the Cost of 
New Drugs. Berkley, California, USA, University of California Press 
2004. is the most well-researched of the new critical books and has 
several original passages. 

Hailey, Arthur. Strong Medicine. London: Pan 1984 (Fiction but perhaps 
the most accurate insight into the inner workings). 

Hansson, Olle. Inside Ciba Geigy. Penang, Malaysia: International 

Organization of Consumers Unions, 1989. 

Harris, Richard. The Real Voice. MacMillan, 1964 - A New Yorker staff 
writer, penned a dramatic account of the investigation and the 
legislative battle to enact the 1962 Kefauver Ammendments. 

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. 1931. A prophesy of the use of drugs 
for political control by keeping the population feeling content. 

Illich. Ivan. Medical Nemesis. Calder & Boyar 1975. Illich was so 
incisive about so much concerning modern medicines and medicalization, 
even if one does notagree with his radical solution. 

Irwig, Judy; Irwig, Les; Sweet, Melissa. Evidence based medicine for 
the general public: Smart Health Choices. Sydney: Allen & Unwin 1999 

Kanji N, Hardon A, Mamdani M, Walt G. Drugs policy in developing 
countries. London: Zed Books. 1992. 

Kassirer, Jerome. On the Take: How Medicine's Complicity with Big 
Business Can Endanger Your Health. Oxford University Press, USA ?October 

Kefauver Report Description at 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefauver_Harris_Amendment ---The most 
politically effective revelations about drug practices since 1938 came 
from four years of U.S. Senate hearings starting in 1959 under Senator Estes 
Kefauver, climaxing with the thalidomide scandal. The upshot was 
passage of the 1962 food, drug and cosmetic amendments strengthening 
U.S. drug safety standards, requiring pre-approval proof of efficacy 
and giving FDA increased authority over drug promotion. 

Klass, Allan. There is gold in them thar pills. Penguin, 1975. 

Le Carre. The Constant Gardener. Hodder and Stoughton, 2001. Critical 
novel / thriller on Big Pharma's R&D ethical practices, pricing and 
safety of patented medicines. 

Lennard, Henry. Mystification and Drug Misuse, San Francisco: 
Jossey-Bass, 1971. 

Lexchin, Joel. The real pushers: a critical analysis of the Canadian 
drug industry. Vancouver, BC. New Star Books. 1984. - This book has 
inspired many Canadians working on rational drug use. 

McConnell, Kathleen. Adverse Effects - Women and the Pharmaceutical 
Industry ed. Kathleen McConnell, International Organisation of Consumer 
Unions, 1986 

Medawar, Charles. Power and dependence: Social Audit on the safety of 
medicines. 1992 

Medawar, Charles; and Barbara Freese. Drug Diplomacy. Social Audit 1982 

Medawar, Charles. Drugs and World Health by Charles Medawar, Social 
Audit 1984 

Medawar, Charles. Insult or Injury. London, Social Audit, 1979. An 
enquiry into the marketing and advertising of British food and drug 
products in the Third World. 

Melrose, Diana. Bitter Pills. Oxfam, 1982. Medicines in he developing 

Melrose, Diana. The Great Health Robbery. Oxfam 1981 

Moore, Thomas. Deadly Medicine. Simon & Shuster, 1995. Deadly Medicine 
is a human story about the brilliant and driven doctors who worked on 
Tambocor and similar heart drugs-at pharmaceutical companies, within the 
FDA, and at university medical research centers. It provides a vivid and 
disturbing account of the system by which drugs are discovered, tested, 
and marketed to doctors. Through the tragic story of how tens of 
thousands of patients died prematurely from one class of heart drugs, 
Deadly Medicine also exposes major flaws in this system. 

Moynihan Ray, & Alan Cassels. Selling Sickness. Sydney: Allen & Unwin 
2005. How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are turning us 
all into Patients. 

Moynihan, Ray Moynihan. Too much medicine. Sydney: ABC Books 2001 

Muller, Mike. The Health of Nations. Faber and Faber, 1982. Mike 
Muller explores from the inside the relationship between the drug 
companies of Europe and developing countries in Africa. He provides a 
unique perspective on the behaviour of drug companies and on the 
realities of health care in less developed countries. 

Permanand, Govin. EU Pharmaceutical Regulation. Manchester University 
Press 2006. An authoritative, insightful, and well-researched contribution. 

Robinson Jeffrey Robinson. Prescription Games. Toronto: McCelland & 
Stewart 2001 

Shah Sonia. The Body Hunters: testing new drugs on the world's poorest 
patients. The New Press 2006 978-1-56584-912-9 Written in an easy 
flowing, reader-friendly and non-technical language, this book exposes 
unethical practices in drug development particularly in the 
resource-limited countries. Sonia Shah did extensive research and lots 
of traveling and her accounts of clinical trials on ARVs, unproven 
Trovofloxacin in 1996 meningococcal meningitis outbreak in Nigeria and 
activated Drotrecogin alfa for severe sepsis are particularly spectacular. 

Silverman, Milton; Lydecker, Mia; and Lee, Philip R. Bad Medicine -- The 
Prescription Drug Industry in the Third World. Stanford University 
Press, 1992. 

Silverman, Milton M. The Drugging of the Americas: How Multinational 
Drug Companies Say One Thing About Their Products to Physicians in the 
United States and Another Thing to Physicians in Latin America. 
University Of California Press, Berkeley, 1976. 

Silverman, Milton, Phillip R. Lee and Mia Lydecker. Prescriptions for 
Death: The Drugging of The Third World. University of California Press, 
Berkeley, 1982. (Describes how multinational corporations often give 
incomplete or misleading information with pharmaceuticals marketed in 
the Third World, and some of the solutions being developed to combat 
these problems.) 

Stephens, Trent D & Brynner, Rock. Dark Remedy: The Impact of 
Thalidomide and Its Revival as a Vital Medicine. Perseus Books, 2001. 
ISBN: 0738204048 

Temin, Peter. Taking Your Medicine: Drug Regulation in the US, Harvard 
Univ Press, 1980. 

Wells, HG. Tono-Bungay, NY: Dodd, Mead & Co, 1908. This novel might well 
have been written in 1909, but it certainly has a relevance today. Think 
of the way in which the power of advertising has a profound influence 
over a willingly gullible public, especially in the field of so called 
'health products'. 


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