How Big Pharma Corrupts American Healthcare, Part 1


According to today’s guest, Dr. John Abramson, Americans are getting less bang for their buck when it comes to ever more pricey pharmaceutical drugs. Despite enormous expenditures—17.7% of our GDP—Americans are less healthy and life expectancy lags behind other developed nations. Dr. Abramson, formerly a family practice physician, turned his attention to critiquing the pharmaceutical industry when he realized over-the-top marketing of drugs was at odds with his patients’ interests. He wrote Overdosing America, and became an expert witness in a landmark class action lawsuit over the now-withdrawn drug Bextra. His new book, "Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care—And How We Can Repair It," exposes the sleight-of-hand involved in studies that gain approval for new drugs, and how the profit motive distorts optimal drug and device development. Dr. Abramson cites the example of statins as drugs that, while helpful for some, have been vastly overhyped and overprescribed on scant evidence. He takes aim at physician education—both in medical school and post-graduate—as indoctrinating doctors to prescribe drugs with questionable efficacy and undisclosed harms. Dr. Abramson offers an insider’s critique of the medical provisions of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act—which in fact does little to cap Americans’ skyrocketing outlays for prescription drugs. Click HERE for part 2.

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