02 March 2008

These eyes

I've been steeping myself in so many books and films about big pharma and food and medical issues, a few of which are:
Taken As Directed, a stunning documentary about an antimalarial drug still being liberally prescribed
Natural Causes - an expose of the natural supplements industry that everyone should read before eating shark cartilage or anything that exotic (and perhaps unintended by nature for human consumption)
Gina Kolata's book Rethinking Thin
Greg Critser's Generation Rx and Fat Land
Fast Food Nation and
Supersize Me (Morgan Spurlock's film) also started this ball rolling,
and Sicko furthered the conversation,
as did Michael Clayton
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog
(and still recommend The Boy who Loved Windows)
The Truth about the Drug Companies, by the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, my ethical hero, Marcia Angell
And some goofy thrillers by Robin Cook (tried one that was ludicrous) and Tess Gerritsen (better) and Michael Palmer -- they're all pretty pedestrian but fun airplane reading and often just as conspiracy-ridden as my own fantasies of late
OverDose, which suggests we're just getting too much of some perfectly good medicine a lot of the time
Overdo$ed America
The Gospel of Food (subtitled Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong)
The Omnivore's Dilemma
Safe Food
Hooked: Ethics, The Medical Profession, and the Pharmaceutical Industry
Comfortably Numb
Against Depression
Beauty Mark (a new film by a local woman, Diane English, that may well be coming soon to a festival near you)
...and a bunch of films and articles and npr pieces about kids on drugs, heroic doctors, unusual diagnoses, whistleblowers, soldiers, mountain climbers, and confessions of drug reps who suddenly realize they have turned into shills for something they don't actually believe in.

Edit: add The $800 Pill to the list. Good stuff about the historical context and nuts and bolts of the drug development and approval process. I needed to find this book at just this time -- I don't think I would have been this interested three months ago at all. It was all about side effects then; now it's about how those things slip through the cracks. That's a kind of faith, too: in pursuing this research, I am trusting that something meaningful is revealing itself to me.

I am so glad I'm writing this stuff down and putting it all in one place. That's all I can say right now. It's very satisfying.

And what's on my mind right now? How to let my kid know that throwing a tantrum every time I ask her to do something she has promised to do is not okay. Argh.

No comments: