BookBrowse Reviews Generation Rx by Greg Critser

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Generation Rx

How Prescription Drugs Are Altering American Lives, Minds, and Bodies

by Greg Critser

Generation Rx by Greg Critser
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2005, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 320 pages

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Will make every American who has ever taken a prescription drug look anew at what's in our medicine cabinets, and why. Current Affairs

From the book jacket: Greg Critser's brilliantly incisive Generation Rx moves the conversation about prescription drugs to where it hits home: our own bodies. How, he asks, has big pharma created a nation of pharmaceutical tribes, each with its own unique beliefs, taboos, and brand loyalties? How have powerful chemical compounds for chronic diseases, once controlled by physicians, become substances we feel entitled to, whether we need them or not? How did we come to hate drug companies but love their pills?

Read on in Generation Rx for: -- exclusive interviews with the strategists, scientists, and current and former heads of GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Merck, Roche, and more -- a first-ever, inside look at the rollicking business story behind pharma's rise to power -- the dramatic effects our drug culture is having on our major organs, from the liver to the heart to the brain -- why old bodies and young bodies are the biggest, and riskiest, arenas for our great American prescription pill party -- how the largely uncharted terrain of polypharmacy (various drugs taken together) has unleashed unanticipated, often deadly, consequences on unwitting patients.

Comment: Critser makes a compelling case that our overmedicated condition is due to a combination of factors including poorly regulated consumer advertising, manipulation of doctors by drug companies and continuously eroding government supervision. If you're looking for a light, easy to digest read you may find Generation Rx provides more information than you want to know.  However, if you really want to understand the American pharmaceutical business and its effects on the American people, stop right here and read the very extensive excerpt at BookBrowse, which is not only interesting in its own right but will give you a good flavor of the book as a whole.

"Apocalyptic literature naturally gravitates toward the maudlin, lamenting that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, usually courtesy of someone like Eminem or Tom DeLay. This is what makes Greg Critser's Generation Rx such an unexpected delight. Although his message is unrelievedly depressing - drug companies, with the nation's physicians and the federal government already on the payroll, have transmogrified a self-reliant nation into a herd of functional drug addicts - there is something so congenial and non-self-righteous about the way he tells his story that few of the scoundrels singled out for public obloquy will take personal offense." - The New York Times.

This review was originally published in October 2005, and has been updated for the January 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



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