On the Take

On the Take : How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health

3.93 (32 ratings by Goodreads)
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We all know that doctors accept gifts from drug companies, ranging from pens and coffee mugs to free vacations at luxurious resorts. But as the former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine reveals in this shocking expose, these innocuous-seeming gifts are just the tip of an iceberg that is distorting the practice of medicine and jeopardizing the health of millions of Americans today. In On the Take, Dr. Jerome Kassirer offers an unsettling look at the pervasive payoffs that physicians take from big drug companies and other medical suppliers, arguing that the billion-dollar onslaught of industry money has deflected many physicians' moral compasses and directly impacted the everyday care we receive from the doctors and institutions we trust most. Underscored by countless chilling untold stories, the book illuminates the financial connections between the wealthy companies that make drugs and the doctors who prescribe them. Kassirer details the shocking extent of these financial enticements and explains how they encourage bias, promote dangerously misleading medical information, raise the cost of medical care, and breed distrust.
A brilliant diagnosis of an epidemic of greed, On the Take offers insight into how we can cure the medical profession and restore our trust in doctors and hospitals.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 150 x 232 x 20mm | 385.56g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195300041
  • 9780195300048
  • 947,995

About Jerome P. Kassirer

Jerome P. Kassirer is Distinguished Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University in Clevland, Ohio. He was Editor-in-Chief of New England Journal of Medicine for more than 8 years.
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Review quote

"On the Take paints a disturbing portrait of a medical system twisted by unseen and pernicious conflicts of interest. Dr. Jerome Kassirer writes with the authority of a leader in medicine, with the candor of an advocate who pulls no punches, and with the common sense of a citizen who can smell when something is just not right. I highly recommend this book." -U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman, California "This important book provides a thoughtful, well-documented, and ultimately devastating expose of the pervasive relationships between health care corporations, researchers and practicing physicians. Every patient should be familiar with the conflicts of interest that affect the care they receive, and this book explains those conflicts with often frightening clarity. The time has come for full disclosure." -Dr. John W. Rowe, M.D., Chairman and CEO, Aetna,
Inc. "Dr. Jerome Kassirer authoritatively describes the emerging immersion of the practice of medicine into the activities of the pharmaceutical and medical device world. As medicine itself has become a big business, the duties of the physician to the patient are in danger of being compromised and subverted. Personal vignettes from the author's experience lend credibility to many of the dangers described. The observations are disturbing and the implications profound."
-Joseph B. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Harvard University "On the Take describes the web of financial interests that entangles many doctors and threatens their objectivity and professionalism. Equally bad, financial conflicts of interest can undermine public trust in doctors. In this book, Dr. Jerome P. Kassirer diagnoses the malady as systemic, widespread, and insidious. Dr. Kassirer's powerful account will make it hard for anyone to deny that a serious problem exists and demands attention. On the Take
deserves to be read by everyone who has a stake in the future integrity of medicine and health care."-Harvey V. Fineberg, President, The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences "Kassirer...has taken on the daunting task of documenting the varied and ingenious ways in which his fellow physicians have managed to accept money and gifts from pharmaceutical companies without calling the practice 'bribery'.... One virtue of this fine book, at least as a muckraking exhibit, is that its author, a physician of the old school, has been around long enough to see a lot of unraked muck.... You have to admire Kassirer's willingness to call a spade a
spade."-American Prospect "On the Take should be required reading for anyone concerned about the future of medicine in this country. Kassirer has shined a much-needed spotlight on the dark underbelly of physicians' financial dealings with industry. He argues compellingly that the corrupting influence of money is now so entrenched that the medical profession alone may not be able to save itself from rank commercialism. Public outrage at the unconscionable practices documented in this
book may be our only hope of redirecting the medical profession away from overweening self-interest and back towards its moral purpose-protecting patients' interests. If readers of this book are not outraged at what they learn, hope for a future of beneficent medicine may indeed be lost."-Jordan J. Cohen,
M.D., President, Association of American Medical Colleges "Documents with well-referenced examples, how conflicts of interest, primarily financial in nature, have infiltrated all areas of the profession."-New England Journal of Medicine "From this book's title to its final words...Jerome P. Kassirer slams his fellow physicians.... 'It shouldn't have to be patients' responsibilities to protect themselves against the medical profession,' Kassirer writes. Bravo to that."-Tom Graham, Washington Post Book World "His quiet fury is palpable as he watches his beloved medical profession being corrupted by businesses willing to do whatever it takes to get their drugs prescribed."-American Scientist "An important and thought-provoking analysis of the extensive conflicts of interest that pervade the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession. This book is a wake-up call for physicians, policy-makers, and the public." -Senator Edward M. Kennedy "A temperate but tough look at how big business is corrupting medicine."-Publishers Weekly "A surprisingly bare-knuckled book by one of the last editors-in-chief at the New England Journal of Medicine."-Mother Jones
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Rating details

32 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 19% (6)
4 56% (18)
3 25% (8)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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