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Books, Journals, New Media
November 6, 2002

Drug CompaniesOver Dose: The Case Against the Drug Companies

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


by Jay S. Cohen, 318 pp, $24.95, ISBN 1-58542-123-5, New York, NY, Jeremy P Tarcher/Putnam, 2001.

JAMA. 2002;288(17):2184-2185. doi:10.1001/jama.288.17.2184-JBK1106-3-1

The pharmaceutical industry is going through tough times. Drug company research laboratories are producing fewer new drugs. Share prices have plummeted. Blockbusters are going off patent. Politicians and the media are railing against high prices. Physicians are upset over unscrupulous marketing practices. And states are suing drug companies for price gouging and overly zealous patent extensions.

This book adds to that growing chorus of criticism and is very much in league with the industry's harshest detractors. But the book is much more besides. Jay Cohen, MD, long a thorn in the industry's side, has written a highly readable, user-friendly, and well-researched account of a serious clinical issue plaguing the everyday practice of medicine. The problem is over-medication. Cohen calls it overdosing, a more precise term but perhaps also loaded, owing to its link to illicit drugs.

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