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  • Cited by 13
  • Robin Feldman, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2019
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

In the warped world of prescription drug pricing, generic drugs can cost more than branded ones, old drugs can be relaunched at astronomical prices, and low-cost options are shut out of the market. In Drugs, Money and Secret Handshakes, Robin Feldman shines a light into the dark corners of the pharmaceutical industry to expose a web of shadowy deals in which higher-priced drugs receive favorable treatment and patients are channeled toward the most expensive medicines. At the center of this web are the highly secretive middle players who establish coverage levels for patients and negotiate with drug companies. By offering lucrative payments to these middle players (as well as to doctors and hospitals), drug companies ensure that inexpensive drugs never gain traction. This system of perverse incentives has delivered the kind of exorbitant drug prices - and profits - that everyone loves except for those who pay the bills.


'This is the book the pharmaceutical industry does not want you to read. Feldman is like a detective, teasing out drug-industry secrets and helping the reader navigate the Alice-in-Wonderland world of drug prices.'

David Kessler - Former Commissioner, United States Food and Drug Administration

'In this lucid and supremely upsetting book, Robin Feldman lays bare the multilayered, perverse incentives that reward pharmaceutical companies for hiking their branded drug prices into the stratosphere. Both houses of Congress should be locked in a room until they've read this book and enacted the remedies she proposes. Prosecutors should read it carefully, too.'

Roger Parloff - Legal Journalist

''Everyone has a limit. Every budget has an endpoint' cannot apply to an industry that is consistently anti-competitive and monopolistic. Feldman offers potential solutions and exposes the limits inherent in each. Consumers who find this salient will be motivated to investigate further and alleviate their information gaps.'

S. M. Mohammed Source: Choice

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