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Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower,…

Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling…

by Alison Bass

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The subject matter is so important and I am glad someone decided to chronicle all of the changes made because of Paxil.

However, the writing itself was a little rough. I read an ARC of the book and assuming even half of the writing is the same in the finished form, it comes off as blatantly boring at times. The narration often feels like lists of information interspersed with personal stories about the individuals involved. There is a little too much detail in some sections, which made the book drag on. The writing felt choppy in areas. I think it would have been more effective in a shorter, more coherent format.

I think the information is very important and the events described are crucial to bettering mental health. The story itself was well done, but the writing could have been better. Overall, I give it three stars, because the story is such an important one, but the writing just didn't live up to it. ( )
  CareBear36 | Nov 9, 2015 |
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As the mental health reporter for the Boston Globe, Alison Bass's front-page reporting on conflicts of interest in medical research stunned readers, and her series on sexual misconduct among psychiatrists earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination. Now she turns her investigative skills to a controversial case that exposed the increased suicide rates among adolescents taking antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. Side Effects tells the tale of a gutsy assistant attorney general who, along with an unlikely whistle-blower at an Ivy League university, uncovered evidence of deception behind one of the most successful drug campaigns in history. Paxil was the world's bestselling antidepressant in 2002. Pediatric prescriptions soared, even though there was no proof that the drug performed any better than sugar pills in treating children and adolescents, and the real risks the drugs posed were withheld from the public. The New York State Attorney General's office brought an unprecedented lawsuit against giant manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil, for consumer fraud. The successful suit launched a tidal wave of protest that changed the way drugs are tested, sold, and marketed in this country. With meticulous research, Alison Bass shows us the underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry. She lays bare the unhealthy ties between the medical establishment, big pharma, and the FDArelationships that place vulnerable children and adults at risk every day.… (more)

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