Year 15, Book 2

Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom by Katherine Eban

Eban conducted years of investigative journalism work to write this story about the problems with the generic drug industry. She focuses specifically on the Indian company Ranbaxy and the whistleblower who risked his life to expose the rampant fraud, falsified or non-existent data and criminal behavior conducted by the company in the manufacture of their drugs. However, she makes clear that this is not an issue with this single company, but a wholesale issue with the generic drug industry especially in India and China. She exposes how the FDA who is responsible for regulating the drugs coming into the US is in some ways impotent and in others complicit in allowing these fraudulent practices to continue allowing millions of adulterated and/or ineffective drugs to flood markets around the world every day.

This book was eye-opening and maddening. I don’t know why I allow myself to continue to be surprised at the depths of horribleness of people who are only interested in profit, power, and protecting themselves even when it means putting the lives of millions of people at risk every day. The fact that even with the knowledge that we have that these companies are allowed to continue to operate and there has been little to force them to change. You have no idea what is in your medicine cabinet. Reading this book has definitely made me worry about the generic drugs I take every month. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It’s important information to know, but also a really engaging book. I finished the 400 page book in two days because I could not put it down. I give it a 10 out of 10.

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