Book Club

Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom

Author: Katherine Eban

Many have hailed the widespread use of generic drugs as one of the most important public-health developments of the twenty-first century. Today, almost 90 percent of our pharmaceutical market is comprised of generics, the majority of which are manufactured overseas. We have been reassured by our doctors, our pharmacists and our regulators that generic drugs are identical to their brand-name counterparts, just less expensive. But is this really true?

Katherine Eban’s Bottle of Lies exposes the deceit behind generic-drug manufacturing—and the attendant risks for global health. Drawing on exclusive accounts from whistleblowers and regulators, as well as thousands of pages of confidential FDA documents, Eban reveals an industry where fraud is rampant, companies routinely falsify data, and executives circumvent almost every principle of safe manufacturing to minimize cost and maximize profit, confident in their ability to fool inspectors. Meanwhile, patients unwittingly consume medicine with unpredictable and dangerous effects.

The story of generic drugs is truly global. It connects middle America to China, India, sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil, and represents the ultimate litmus test of globalization: what are the risks of moving drug manufacturing offshore, and are they worth the savings?

A decade-long investigation with international sweep, high-stakes brinkmanship and big money at its core, Bottle of Lies reveals how the world’s greatest public-health innovation has become one of its most astonishing swindles.

Bottle of Lies is an invaluable exposé, a reportorial tour de force and a well-turned epic.” (New York Times)

Dangerous Doses

Author: Katherine Eban

Stolen, tainted, and compromised counterfeit medicine has increasingly made its way into a poorly regulated distribution system—reaching vulnerable and unsuspecting patients who stake their lives on it. The heart of the problem lies in South Florida—and Dangerous Doses exposes it through a “ragtag group of seasoned investigators who seem as if they were cast right out of an episode of The Wire” (U.S. News & World Report).

In Katherine Eban’s hard-hitting examination of America’s secret ring of drug counterfeiters, these tireless investigators follow the trail of medication, stolen in a seemingly minor break-in, as it funnels into a sprawling national network of drug polluters. Their pursuit stretches from a strip joint in South Miami to the halls of Congress, as they battle entrenched political interests and uncover an increasing threat to America’s health.

Eban’s revelatory and damning crusade “combines investigative diligence, a natural storyteller’s gift for narrative, and a consumer advocate’s practical prescriptions for what to do about the counterfeit drugs that may have contaminated the supply at your local drug store. The result: A rare literary event—muckraking with a human face” (Victor Navasky, former publisher of The Nation).

An investigation into crime and corruption that offers “a journey into the underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry” (Buzz Bissinger)

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