Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics


The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers

Joyce  Plaza  a1
a1 Joyce Plaza, M.S., M.B.E., is Administrator for Center Affairs at the Columbia University Center for Bioethics, New York

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The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers, by Katharine Greider. New York: Public Affairs; 2003. 189 pp.

The Big Fix is, as Greider describes, “the utter folly of allowing a profit-driven industry to name its price, while quietly making over our public-health agenda in its own image”—the theme of the book. Written in an easy-to-understand, conversational manner targeted to the American consumer, The Big Fix is a comprehensive description of the commonly held views of critics of the pharmaceutical industry, although most of the points made are not novel. In eight chapters, each given a catchy descriptive title, Greider does a good job of detailing the issues and citing well-known experts and critics of the industry, such as Marcia Angel and Thomas Bodenheimer, even though she does not always provide the exact sources of these citations for those academic types who may want to know more.

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