Yesterday, I paid $80 for a tiny (2 cc’s at most) tube of prescription antibiotic eye-ointment (Tobromycin) because I happen to have a sty in my eye which wasn’t going away. I do not have a prescription plan, so had to pay for it out-of-pocket. I have to admit that the price struck me as ridiculously unfair.
Jerry Avorn’s new book, Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs, provides insight into one of the central medical debates of our time: how to ensure that prescription drugs are affordable, effective and safe. Avorn, a physician and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, uses case studies, research and his own experiences to mount a critique of the pharmaceutical industry. With the costs of prescription drugs soaring and concerns about the safety of drugs growing almost daily, Avorn seeks in this book to find a cure for the nation’s pharmaceutical ills.
Amos Esty of American Scientist Online asked Avorn to talk about his findings, his proposed solutions and the experience of writing Powerful Medicines. The interview is here.