On the Take : How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health
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. Among the questionable practices he describes are: the disturbing number of senior academic physicians who have financial arrangements with drug companies; the unregulated "front" organizations that advocate certain drugs; the creation of biased medical education materials by the drug companies themselves; and the use of financially conflicted physicians to write clinical practice guidelines or to testify before the FDA in support of a particular drug. 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.
- Electronic book text | 272 pages
- 01 Dec 2005
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
"A surprisingly bare-knuckled book by one of the last editors-in-chief at the New England Journal of Medicine."--Mother Jones"A temperate but tough look at how big business is corrupting medicine."--Publishers Weekly"Kassirer's 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"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"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"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"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"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 t
About Jerome P Kassirer
Jerome P. Kassirer is Distinguished Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. Editor-in-Chief of New England Journal of Medicine for more than 8 years, he has been honored by membership in the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been referred to as the "Conscience of American Medicine." He lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts.