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 consequences.
... a withering and encyclopedic indictment of a drug industry that often seems to prioritize profits over patients. Over 550 densely packed pages, Posner tells a tireless and occasionally tiring tale that reads like a pharmaceutical version of cops and robbers ... Posner blames the ensuing opioid abuse epidemic, which has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, in part on 'the addictive drugs that 150 years earlier were the core DNA of the pharmaceutical industry'...That is ultimately a reductive argument. If Big Pharma is still addicted to the century-old idea of producing 'staggering profits from their highly addictive products,' it’s difficult to imagine a viable rehab for the industry. Perhaps that’s why Pharma devotes so many words to industry malfeasance and only one sentence at the end to a possible 'multidisciplinary solution.'
Gerald Posner’s Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America could be seen as the 2020 equivalent of Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel, The Jungle, which led to public outrage over the meat-packing industry ... His unsettling book, five years in the making and buttressed by a trove of documentation, is not only a careful history, it’s also a staggering indictment of pharmaceutical companies ... On page after page, Posner describes incidents of drug companies lying to investigators, manipulating politicians and political systems, twisting regulations, and intentionally foisting unnecessary, dangerous, and overpriced products on some of the most vulnerable segments of society ... The penultimate chapter of Posner’s book, The Coming Pandemic, refers to the troubling side effect, according to Posner and others, of the pharmaceutical industry’s flooding of the market with antibiotic drugs: the steady rise of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. The blame for that development, as well as for the opioid crisis, Posner lays squarely at the feet of Big Pharma.
... to read best-selling, award-winning Posner’s encyclopedic exposé of the pharmaceutical industry and the government’s role in its development and regulation is to peer into a Pandora’s box of malfeasance, perfidy, and corruption. Explosively, even addictively, readable, Posner’s meticulously documented investigation of the historical roots and contemporary state of Big Pharma examines everything from aspirin to Zantac ... Making Posner’s corporate history even more topical is its through line following the notoriously headline-grabbing Sackler family as they created and manipulated a medical juggernaut that revolutionized the way pharmaceuticals are developed, manufactured, and marketed. Their role in the current drug catastrophe is unmistakable and byzantine. As this and other drug-related stories continue to dominate the news, who better than a determined and prolific investigative journalist to provide the context necessary to understand and correct the crisis.