Drug Industry Under the Microscope

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photoAmericans spend $200 billion each year on prescription drugs. But those billions aren't necessarily buying better drugs, says Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Pharmaceutical marketing and administration costs far outstrip those of research and development, Angell says. And rather than coming out with innovative, new drugs, companies are more interested in developing "knockoff" versions of popular prescriptions that line the pockets of executives and leave consumers coming up short.

The influence that the drug industry has in Washington, and even in your doctor's office, is enormous. But Angell thinks there is still a way to save the pharmaceutical industry, and help it to regain its mission.

Click one of the "listen" links for a hard look at the truth about the drug companies: what it means for you, your health, and your pocketbook.


Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief, The New England Journal of Medicine and senior lecturer, Harvard Medical School. She is author of the new book, "The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It."

Lori Reilly, deputy vice president for policy and research, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

Peter Rost, vice president of marketing for endocrine care, Pfizer.

This program aired on September 16, 2004.


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