E-DRUG: List of 'activist' books on Big Pharma and/or medicines
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
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
Please submit your suggestions either to the list or to me directly at
Douglas Ball (co-moderator)
"LIST OF BOOKS ON PILLS" (2007)
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:
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
Medawar, Charles. Power and dependence: Social Audit on the safety of
Medawar, Charles; and Barbara Freese. Drug Diplomacy. Social Audit 1982
Medawar, Charles. Drugs and World Health by Charles Medawar, Social
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 &
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
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
Stephens, Trent D & Brynner, Rock. Dark Remedy: The Impact of
Thalidomide and Its Revival as a Vital Medicine. Perseus Books, 2001.
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