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Monday, August 08, 2011

The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg - Book Review




Doug Bremner's aptly titled second book, 'The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg', arrived in the post last week. A reader had kindly sent it to me after telling me how riveting a read it was...she wasn't wrong.

Bremner, a Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology and Director of the Emory Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit, lifts the lid on the way pharmaceutical companies protect their products at all costs, in this instance, it's Hoffman-La Roche, the manufacturers of the acne medication Accutane, known as Roaccutane in the UK.

After being approached to carry out a study on Accutane, Bremner finds his life turned upside down as he finds opposition to his findings that Roche's drug has a sinister side. Bremner goes on a journey that sees him called as an expert witness where he is grilled for hours on end in a 'breaking of the spirit' fashion by Roche's lawyers who cross examine him during deposition.

Bremner is as open as one can possibly be when writing. His story also deals with his deceased mother and his thirst to battle his demons in seeking her final resting place [she had died when Bremner was just 4 years old] and her biological family. The 'Goose' moves from Bremner's past and present in unrelenting fashion and highlights the mechanics of the human psyche when faced with the need for truth.

One feels for Bremner in his quest to bury his own demon and, at the same time, seek justice for those harmed by Accutane. It clearly shows that speaking out against the pharmaceutical industry can have dire consequences as lawyers pull out all the stops to try and discredit.

From the off Bremner lays his cards on the table and tells the reader how he was wined and dined by the industry with lavish trips and hotels thrown in for good measure. It's an insight into the internal workings of Emory, more importantly the free luncheon vouchers supplied to key opinion leaders in return for favourable reviews of pharma drugs.

It's a journey that sees a passionate man fall foul of dirty tricks and one which sees him fight for his own sanity, his quest for the truth and even his marriage.

The world needs more Doug Bremner's, his offering is, indeed, a golden egg.

'The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg' is available as both paperback and Kindle HERE and you can read more of Bremner's work on his website, 'Before You Take That Pill, HERE.

Fid


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