The pharmaceutical industry is broken. From the American hedge fund manager who hiked the price of an AIDS pill from $17.50 to $750 overnight to the children’s cancer drugs left intentionally to expire in a Spanish warehouse, the signs of this dysfunction are all around. A system that was designed to drive innovation and patient care has been relentlessly distorted to drive up profits.
Medicines have become nothing more than financial assets. The focus of drug research, how drugs are priced and who has access to them is now dictated by shareholder value, not the good of the public. Drug companies fixated on ever-higher profits are being fined for bribing doctors and striking secret price-gouging deals, while patients desperate for life-saving medicines are driven to the black market in search of drugs that national health services can’t afford.
Sick Money argues that the way medicines are developed and paid for is no longer working. Unless we take action we risk a dramatic decline in the pace of drug development and a future in which medicines are only available to the highest bidder. In this book investigative journalist Billy Kenber offers a diagnosis of an industry in crisis and a prescription for how we can fight back.
Billy Kenber is one of the most promising young journalists in the land, and he has, unsurprisingly, produced a compelling debut which surprises, entertains and inspires dismay. An essential read -- SATHNAM SANGHERA We live in a medicated world. We take drugs for everything. But the story of how Big Pharma lost its moral compass, breaking the social contract with the public in order to over-price and over-medicate us with drugs costing, in some cases, 4000 times more than gold is an incredible untold story. Billy Kenber does a fantastic job, pulling apart the origins of the drugs industry and machinations of its shameless profiteers with surgical precision. From the business opportunity provided by AIDS and the magical invention of blockbusters, to the extraordinary house of cards of Concordia, which Billy exposed, it's quite a ride. A must read for anyone who wants to understand how the drugs industry really does its business -- JACQUES PERETTI
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