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Book and Media Reviews
October 25, 2006

Global Pharmaceuticals

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(16):2030-2035. doi:10.1001/jama.296.16.2032

Pharmaceutical markets have the power to transform individuals, markets, and health care systems. The series of essays making up Global Pharmaceuticals examines how this transformation has affected societies in both the rich and poor world.

The first of the nine chapters provides an overview of the entire volume and some context for the current consideration of “global Pharma.” The next chapter is a fascinating examination of the pharmaceutical industry's need to recruit participants for trials and treatments. It examines the use of humanitarian catastrophes as smokescreens for undertaking rushed and often ill-regulated large-scale clinical trials. The discussion emphasizes that, while much research debate on ethics centers around informed consent, broader ethical issues are at stake when running large trials in places where it is often hard to ensure high standards of clinical care and physician-patient communication.

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