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CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 2003

Prescription Games: Money, Ego and Power Inside the Global Pharmaceutical Industry

Jeffrey Robinson. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2001; 320 pp; hardcover $36.99 CA.
There’s big money in Big Pharma. Accord-ing to most financial analysts, the pharmaceutical industry offers some of the most reliable investment opportunities in the stock market. Drug companies surpass almost all other Fortune 500 companies in profit rates, outperform the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index by as much as 90 per cent, and average returns more than three times that of other industries. Riches of this order are not generated by nice guys with soft hearts. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry is driven by ruthless managers with a relentless focus on the bottom line. In Prescription Games, veteran muckraker Jeffrey Robinson exposes the real world of Big Pharma. He shows how drug companies have benefited from politically motivated giveaways; demonstrates how and why their usual claim — that their enormous mark-ups are made necessary by the cost of research and development — are largely bogus; and argues convincingly that Big Pharma’s unwavering determination to make money comes at the expense of real human suffering.
Review produced from information supplied by publisher.