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September 23, 1974

Pills, Profits, and Politics

Author Affiliations

Emory University Atlanta

JAMA. 1974;229(13):1807. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230510075039

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Pills, Profits, and Politics offers a factual, sober appraisal of virtually every aspect of the American medicinal drug scene during the last dozen turbulent years since the Kefauver law of 1962. The authors bring high qualifications to their task. Silverman is a biochemist, pharmacologist, and science writer; Lee, a physician and medical administrator, formerly Assistant Secretary for Health in Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). Both played key roles in HEW's Task Force on Prescription Drugs and both now teach at the School of Medicine of the University of California, San Francisco.

Thus, academic and governmental medicine flavor their perspective, which may present a challenge to some physician readers. Nonetheless, Silverman and Lee's critique is so incisive, their evidence so extensive, their opinions so candid, and their proposed reforms so explicit, their book deserves a wide audience within the medical profession.

Not neglecting the life-saving role of drugs in America, the