This book documents Kathleen McLaughlin's ten-year investigation researching and reporting on the $20-billion-a year business she found at the other end of her medication, revealing an industry that targets America's most economically vulnerable for immense profit.
McLaughlin’s distressing assessment of the plasma economy spotlights the value of the substance for patients, individuals in financial need who provide it, and big-business blood-traders who profit handsomely from it.
If there was any doubt that the country’s wealth gap has grown untenably wide, this book dispels it ... For her research, McLaughlin interviewed scores of donors and found that many felt exhausted and ill after making a donation. The long-term health effects of multiple donations is unknown, although McLaughlin surmises that there must be some damage inflicted ... A disturbing, painful story that smoothly combines the personal and the universal.
Throughout, [McLaughlin] interweaves shocking revelations about lax regulations, tainted blood, and potential side effects for frequent donors with piercing meditations on how it feels to know that her medication “is built on the backs of quiet, hidden economic desperation.” The result is a captivating and anguished exposé.