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Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine

Abramson, Dr. John

2004, January 1

overdosed america

Using the examples of Vioxx, Celebrex, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, and anti-depressants, Overdosed America shows that at the heart of the current crisis in American medicine lies the commercialization of medical knowledge itself

For twenty years, John Abramson, M.D., cared for patients of all ages in a small town north of Boston. But increasingly his role as family doctor was undermined as pressure mounted to use the latest drugs and high-tech solutions for nearly every problem. Drawing on his background in statistics and health policy research, he began to investigate the radical changes that were quietly taking place in American medicine.

At the heart of the crisis, he found, lies the changed purpose of medical knowledge— from seeking to optimize health to searching for the greatest profits. The lack of transparency that has become normal in commercially sponsored medical research now taints the scientific evidence published in even our most prestigious medical journals. And unlike the recent scandals in other industries that robbed Americans of money and jobs, this one is undermining our health.

Commercial distortion pervades the information that doctors rely upon to guide the prevention and treatment of common health problems, from heart disease to stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, and osteoarthritis. The good news, as Dr. Abramson explains, is that the real scientific evidence shows that many of the things that you can do to protect and preserve your own health are far more effective than what the drug companies’ top-selling products can do for you — which is why the drug companies work so hard to keep this information under wraps.

Where to Find Resource Online

The book can be purchased online (2008 edition):

     Barnes & Noble


If one is a member of the Internet Archive, a digital version of the 2004 edition is “borrowable:”

     Internet Archive

Here is an overview/review of the book by the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP) from March, 2005:

     Evidence-based medicine? Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine


In November, 2004, Dr. Abramson talked about his book Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine on C-SPAN:

Source link to this video: https://www.c-span.org/video/?184403-1/overdosed-america

Here is a Riordan Clinic lecture Dr. Abramson gave in 2011 about Overdosed America:

Source link to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RKd4P_tqYo

Greater Context

Dr. John Abramson’s home website:

     Overdosed America

Check out a resource addressing the same topic:

     Death by Medicine

Filed under the following tags: government health history medical

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