A Sucker Punch at the Drug Industry (Book Review)

There is no mistaking Katharine Greider’s thesis in The Big Fix: The way Americans obtain and pay for prescription drugs is inflationary, corrupt, and broken, and it is the drug manufacturers’ fault. But for all of the problems Greider identifies, some of which may need to be addressed, it is not clear why she has singled out drug manufacturers as the guilty party. Many of the ills she describes result from a combination of U.S. consumers’ attitudes toward health care, which demonstrate a strong faith in the free market, and the payment policies of the entities that fund most of the drug purchases in this country—state and federal governments and other third-party payers such as insurance carriers, managed care organizations, and employers.