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Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 055337852X, Paperback)Bitter Pills started as a magazine story, inspired by Stephen Fried's wife's frightening reaction to an antibiotic. After he won a National Magazine Award for that article, he expanded his investigation into this book. What he has uncovered is astounding, starting with the fact that, in the U.S. alone, between 45,000 and 200,000 people die annually of reactions to legal drugs (2 to 9 percent of the 2.3 million Americans who die each year) versus the 5,000 to 10,000 who die of illegal drug use. As Fried compulsively investigates what happened to his wife and how reactions like hers were considered statistically insignificant by drug companies and the FDA, he learns things most of us don't want to know about the mechanisms that cause pills to land on pharmacy shelves. Chances are, after reading Bitter Pills, you'll be much more careful about accepting prescriptions for new medications.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:44 -0400)
In 1992 Stephen Fried's wife, Diane, took a pill her doctor gave her for a minor infection and ended up in the emergency room. She was a victim of "the other drug problem," adverse reactions to prescription and over-the-counter medications that kill more people every year than all illegal drug use combined. Some drug reactions go away after a few days. Diane's did not.Fried set out to investigate the pharmaceutical safety net his wife had fallen through. His quest became a five-year inquiry into the entire legal drug culture, setting off two FDA investigations and winning numerous awards. He examined the international pharmaceutical industry (the most profitable legal business in the world) as well as the patients who unwillingly swallow its products and problems, the government "drug police," the high-pressure sales reps, the physicians, the nurses, the pharmacists, the researchers, and the consumer advocates. Bitter Pills is the result - a probing, rigorously documented investigative memoir of pill making, pill taking, and pill selling.