Sick Money by Billy Kenber
The pharmaceutical industry is broken. From the American hedge fund manager who hiked the price of an AIDS pill from $17.50 to $750 overnight to the children’s cancer drugs left intentionally to expire in a Spanish warehouse, the signs of this dysfunction are all around. A system that was designed to drive innovation and patient care has been relentlessly distorted to drive up profits.
Medicines have become nothing more than financial assets. The focus of drug research, how drugs are priced and who has access to them is now dictated by shareholder value, not the good of the public. Drug companies fixated on ever-higher profits are being fined for bribing doctors and striking secret price-gouging deals, while patients desperate for life-saving medicines are driven to the black market in search of drugs that national health services can’t afford.
Sick Money argues that the way medicines are developed and paid for is no longer working. Unless we take action we risk a dramatic decline in the pace of drug development and a future in which medicines are only available to the highest bidder. In this book investigative journalist Billy Kenber offers a diagnosis of an industry in crisis and a prescription for how we can fight back.
Narrated by Ciaran Saward.