BooksHEALTH CARE

Toward Better Drugs for Less

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Science  24 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5705, pp. 2192-2193
DOI: 10.1126/science.1108287

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Summary

The Truth About the Drug Companies How They Deceive Us and What To Do About It . by Marcia Angell. Random House, New York, 2004. 325 pp. $24.95, C$34.95. ISBN 0-375-50846-5.

Powerful Medicines The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs. By Jerry Avorn. Knopf, New York, 2004. 457 pp. $27.50, C$39.95. ISBN 0-375-41483-5.

Angell offers an expose of the pharmaceutical industry, which she describes as "primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit." Avorn discusses how prescription drugs are approved, promoted, and used. To contain costs, he argues for an agenda of comparative studies that would inform physicians, patients, and those who pay the bills.