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Review of Side Effects by Alison Bass - Book Report/Review Example

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Between the years 1994 and 2002, the use of antidepressants among children as well as adolescents was very common, and these were being prescribed to the “below 18 age group” much more than an acne product. …
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Review of Side Effects by Alison Bass
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Download file to see previous pages Alison Bass is one of the noteworthy journalists known for her investigative works as well as her findings. Side Effects is a widely read book written by Bass which presents before the readers, how Glaxo Smith Kline dealt with the controversy relating to anti depressants such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. With her impressive research and argumentative skills, Bass tries to normalize the controversy. The book narrates the story of a famous court case surrounding the best selling drug of Glaxo Smithkline. “ It tell us the lives of two women; a prosecutor and a whistleblower - who exposed the pattern of deception in the research and marketing of Paxil, an antidepressant prescribed to millions of children and adults”. In the book, one can see for the first time, an administrator courageously uncovering the researchers at the prestigious Ivy League university, wherein the author misrepresented data in a key study of Paxil. Through her subtle writing skills, she has presented before the readers the suicide risks in adolescents taking the drug. The book features real life stories of dedicated professionals, who stand for ethical right regardless of various obstacles in their personal lives. Through Side Effects, the readers come across the ‘anything goes’ attitude of the pharmaceutical industries. Glaxo’s drugs including Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft became one of the most widely used drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. Though the same duplicity was repeated later, it could not succeed as a result of the lawsuit brought by New York State attorney, and thus, deceiving consumers regarding the safety and effectiveness of some new drugs became really difficult. Reflecting on the international reviews of Side Effects, Nature Medicine reviews that the book talks about “ how good intentions to effectively treat depressed patients can be subverted by an increasingly market-driven pharmaceutical industry” (Bass, 2008, p.1) . The New England Journal of Medicine reviews that the book is way beyond a bestselling antidepressant where the author has used the “case of Paxil to expose the unsavory and self-serving relationships among members of the pharmaceutical industry, psychiatrists etc” (Bass, 2008, p.1). Furthermore, Dr. Jerome Kassirer reflects that the book is “a serious indictment of the pharmaceutical industry, clinical researchers, and government regulators, told in captivating prose. It makes you worry about the authenticity of the evidence that doctors use from day to day." (Bass, 2008, p.1) . During the early 1990s, pharmaceutical industry spent about $8.9 million as user-fee money and it was just 7 percent of the FDA’s drug-review budget. In 2004, user fees reached $232 million, which comprised about 53 percent of the agency’s entire drug-review budget. The user fees then started increasing again. Review on the spending pattern of FDA showed that a major portion is being spent on new drug reviews instead of other activities such as monitoring of the approved drugs. It is revealed that “between 1998 and 2006, the drug companies spent a total of $1.2 billion on lobbying and political contributions in the U.S, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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