Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Marcia Angell on Big Pharma

Three links:
  • Today's Hindu reviews the book The truth about the drug companies: How they deceive us and what to do about it by Marcia Angell.
  • Paul Krugman's column A serious drug problem, in which he cites Angell's book.
  • Finally, here is Marcia Angell herself, in an article she penned for the New York Review of Books.

So, what is Angell's thesis? Here is Krugman's summary:

Marcia Angell, the former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, shows convincingly that drug companies spend far more on marketing than they do on research — and that much of the marketing is designed to sell "me, too" drugs, which are no better than the cheaper drugs they replace.

Angell's book is probably too pricey, but thankfully, her NYRB article is free! It dispels any lofty ideas you may have about how innovative the big pharma companies are.