Our Daily Meds

How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs

Melody Petersen

Sarah Crichton Books

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In the last thirty years, the big pharmaceutical companies have transformed themselves into marketing machines selling dangerous medicines as if they were Coca-Cola or Cadillacs. They pitch drugs with video games and soft cuddly toys for children; promote them in churches and subways, at NASCAR races and state fairs. They’ve become experts at promoting fear of disease, just so they can sell us hope.
 
No question: drugs can save lives. But the relentless marketing that has enriched corporate executives and sent stock prices soaring has come with a dark side. Prescription pills taken as directed by physicians are estimated to kill one American every five minutes. And that figure doesn’t reflect the damage done as the overmedicated take to the roads.
 
Our Daily Meds connects the dots for the first time to show how corporate salesmanship has triumphed over science inside the biggest pharmaceutical companies and, in turn, how this promotion driven industry has taken over the practice of medicine and is changing American life.
 
It is an ageless story of the battle between good and evil, with potentially life-changing consequences for everyone, not just the 65 percent of Americans who unscrew a prescription cap every day. An industry with the promise to help so many is now leaving a legacy of needless harm.

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Book Excerpts

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Introduction
Doctors call it the resurrection drug. They have watched as it freed patients from what seemed an inescapable death.
The medicine treats sleeping sickness, a disease far more lethal and terrifying than its name implies. Opportunistic tsetse flies spread the disease through much of Africa, devastating villages and killing tens of thousands of people a year. The jewel-eyed yellowish brown flies thrive in thickets along rivers where women and children go to collect water. With a bite, the bloodsuckers inject deadly parasites into their human victims.

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Reviews

Praise for Our Daily Meds

"Everyone talks about health care, but few ask why we're so sick to begin with. Melody Petersen's book goes a long way toward explaining that the people who came up with the 'cures' are actually the problem." —Bill Maher, Real Time

"A devastating, often shocking, critique of a once proud industry that has been converted by corporate greed into a vast marketing machine that is often a menace to health.  Petersen supports her indictment with an abundance of fascinating detail and human interest stories.  An excellent contribution to the growing demand for better regulation of an industry that has grown way too powerful and heedless of the interests of its customers." —Marcia Angell, M. D., Senior Lecturer in Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Arnold S. Relman, M. D., Prof. Emeritus of Medicine and of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School 

 


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About the Author

Melody Petersen

Melody Petersen covered the pharmaceutical beat for The New York Times
for four years. In 1997, her investigative reporting won a Gerald Loeb Award, one of the highest honors in business journalism. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles.

Melody Petersen

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Melody Petersen

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Available Formats and Book Details

Our Daily Meds
How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs
Melody Petersen

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sarah Crichton Books
July 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429944038
ISBN10: 142994403X
6 x 9 inches, 448 pages, Includes Notes, a Bibliography, and an Index
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
March 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312428259
ISBN10: 0312428251
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 448 pages, Includes notes, a bibliography, and an index
$20.00
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