- Paperback: 230 pages
- Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub (June 28 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1463648812
- ISBN-13: 978-1463648817
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 200 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,582,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg: Accutane - The Truth That Had to Be Told Paperback – Jun 28 2011
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About the Author
Dr. Doug Bremner is Professor of Psychiatry & Radiology at Emory University and the author of 'Before You Take That Pill: Why the Drug Industry May Be Bad for Your Health: Risks and Side Effects You Won't Find on the Label of Commonly Prescribed Drugs, Vitamins, and Supplements'.
Top customer reviews
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Yes this was about a legal and moral fight with a major drug manufacturer but the story hinted at things that weren't fully explored and there was another story arc about the author trying to find out about his Mom which moved you away from the main story.
It was interesting what lengths a company would go to to harrass someone who could effect their bottom line. Not only as part of discovery but also at their worksite.
I won't say what happens in the end however the road that the author travelled to get to he end was certainly not easy
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I am a clinical psychologist with a masters degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. I regularly attend grand rounds in the Emory psychiatry department as well as lectures in Neuroscience at Emory and Georgia State. What fascinates me is how the very smart people in the psychiatry department can totally miss the obvious. In 1994, I published an article contrasting long term outcomes for major depression before and after drugs. About the same time, Giovanni Fava published a paper also documenting the very worse outcomes in those treated with anti-depressants compared to outcomes found before the drugs. I argued that rapid relapse to depression in the medicated reflected drug withdrawal. Fava argued that drugs change the brain in such a way such that an acute condition becomes chronic. As I listen to the psychiatrist at Emory deliberating about genotyping patients to investigate why some people respond to antidepressants while many do not, I wondered why no one is looking at long term exposure to drugs. Drug trials typically last 6-8 weeks. Patients are on drugs for decades. Since the drugs are likely to impact many cells in the body, shouldn't questions be asked about more than one organ system? Shouldn't long term effects be investigated? Shouldn't someone ask how to get people off anti-depressants? (There is a small literature on anti-depressant drug withdrawal, but no studies on how to safely withdraw patients.) I frequently come home from lectures, totally forlorn about the extent to which psychiatrists don't get it. My husband reminds me that if psychiatrists started asking honest questions, they might be out of a job. It's just too much to ask of ordinary human beings.
My other hobby is reading books on economics, particularly the subprime lending scandal and the banking crisis of 2008. In Ferguson's documentary film Inside Job, he details how investment banks corrupted academic economists by giving them big consulting fees and appointing professors to various boards. It worked. The zeitgeist was to extol the virtues of the free-market system. I was struck by the parallels between academic economics and academic medicine. As Marcia Angell, former editor for New England Journal of Medicine, explains in last month's New York Review of Books academic medicine has been corrupted. Given that health care costs are soaring, how long can America continue to offer treatments which make big profits for drug companies while making people sick? I think Doug Bremner's moving account helps to diagnose what is wrong with America.
As a research physician, I have been lucky to have avoided the pitfalls Dr. Bremner faced. But the profits made on medications are driving the research almost entirely now, and that financial concern will inevitably force patient safety to the rear. I remember a research scientist with a large international firm telling me that the profits associated with the antibiotic I was researching - amounting to some 300 million a year - was "like the money left over in your office coffee fund at the end of the month" in the view of the controlling pharmaceutical company. It was then that I started to grasp the scale of profits that they are interested in and how they make choices about drugs.
When Dr. Bremner started to look into the neurologic changes in the brain associated with Accutane, he met determined resistance from colleagues, and the industry. This then turned into personal and professional attacks on his integrity and his science itself. The extent of the steps that Roche took to ruin his career are stunning, and will serve as a warning shot to any other scientist considering facing them down. The degree of direct and immoral complicity in that attack by members of the academic faculty are equally stunning.
But unlike the movies, where the hero just bravely and boldly takes on the big bad boys (win or lose), this narrative moves instead into a honest account of how terrifying this really is. The honesty in the book is stunningly clear, straightforward and blunt. Dr. Bremner is unsparing in detailing his own personal failings in coping with the stress of being attacked in such a personal and vicious manner.
As he struggles with a tendency to withdraw into fantasy, he begins to connect how his personal struggle in coping with the attacks by Roche is influenced by his unresolved grief over the loss of his mother. He details how he gradually started to look for her story - covered up and denied by his surviving father and step-mother - and how that search finally leads him to a healing place. It is so clear that he had to go straight into his pain, to be able to deal with his marital and professional struggles.
This book details perfectly the personal struggles one would face who had lost a parent at a very young age. It exposes the fraudulent and decadent practices of the high-flying academic physicians who are sometimes in the pocket of Big Pharma. The book details how we can retreat into fantasy to numb our pain, but also how facing it heals our pain. It shows us how poorly families can deal with death and loss, often for the simple reason that they did not know any better - even smart folks like psychiatrists.
This book is a riveting and excellent read - I read it in one sitting. I highly recommend it.