Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine (Paperback)

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Overdosed America reveals the greed and corruption that drive health care costs skyward and now threaten the public health. Before you see a doctor, you should read this book.” —Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

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.

In what is sure to be one of the most important and eye-opening books you or your doctor will ever read, John Abramson offers conclusive evidence that American medicine has broken its promise to best improve our health and is squandering more than $500 billion each year in the process.

About the Author


John Abramson, M.D., has worked as a family doctor in Appalachia and in Hamilton, Massachusetts, and has served as chairman of the department of family practice at Lahey Clinic. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow and is on the clinical faculty of Harvard Medical School, where he teaches primary care.

Praise For…


“Enlightening.”
Washington Post Book World

“A powerful and coherent case that American medicine has gone badly astray.”
Publishers Weekly

“[A] diagnosis of what ails American health care...well-reasoned and well-documented.”
— Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Abramson’s book will have you rethinking your relationship with your doctor and your health.”
— The Oregonian (Portland)

“Before you see a doctor, you should read this book.”
— Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

“A clear and concise explanation of how American medicine has gone astray...a must read for both patients and doctors.”
— Herbert Benson, MD, author of The Relaxation Response and The Breakout Principle

“Fulfills the criteria for high quality in health services: the right diagnosis and the right prescription at the right time.”
— Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, University Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins University & Medical Institutions

“Acompelling and well-documented analysis... a book every American should read.”
— Elliott Fisher, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School

“Essential for all those who want to intelligently reclaim responsibility for their own health.”
— Cheryl Richardson, author of Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers and Stand Up for Your Life

“The real story about the drugs we take—this book should be read by everyone before they pop another pill.”
— Susan Love, MD, MBA


Product Details
ISBN: 9780061344763
ISBN-10: 0061344761
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 29th, 2008
Pages: 384
Language: English
Series: P.S.