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Blood Feud: The Man Who Blew the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever | [Kathleen Sharp]

Blood Feud: The Man Who Blew the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever

Blood-boosting Procrit is Johnson & Johnson's biotech superstar. Behind its various brand names, it ranks as Medicare's most reimbursed drug. But Procrit performs frighteningly well, and can stimulate so many blood cells that thousands of patients die in unexplained and painful ways. Blood Feud is award-winning journalist Kathleen Sharp's nail-biting expose of the Procrit case. Packed with corporate espionage, plot twists, and larger-than-life characters, it's as gripping as it is terrifyingly true.
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Publisher's Summary

Blood-boosting Procrit is Johnson & Johnson's biotech superstar. Behind its various brand names, it ranks as Medicare's most reimbursed drug. But Procrit performs frighteningly well, and can stimulate so many blood cells that thousands of patients die in unexplained and painful ways. And that's not all: Cancer patients, who often receive injections, are never warned that the drug stimulates tumor growth, too, prompting one leading hematologist to dub it "Miracle-Gro for cancer".

While patients have no clue about the risks behind this poorly tested drug, Johnson & Johnson sales rep Mark Duxbury knows precisely what is happening - the pharma behemoth is blatantly marketing overdoses of the drug. Duxbury tries to warn his superiors and is forced to testify in a secret court about illegal schemes. But his honesty costs him his career. Humiliated and ignored for years, Duxbury is ultimately betrayed in a shockingly cruel way. The psychological trauma drives him to attempt suicide, yet he fights on for several more years until the heartbreaking end. A Civil Action's Jan Schlichtmann has taken on the case, and is back in federal district court in Massachusetts. And all the while, Johnson & Johnson has continued to push sales of Procrit.

Blood Feud is award-winning journalist Kathleen Sharp's nail-biting expose of the Procrit case. Packed with corporate espionage, plot twists, and larger-than-life characters, it's as gripping as it is terrifyingly true.

©2011 Kathleen Sharp (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Sharp tells the story of sales rep Mark Duxbury, who challenged the wisdom of selling Procrit and, after testifying in a closed court, was hounded from his job." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (24 )
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  •  
    Anna 12-08-13
    Anna 12-08-13 Member Since 2009

    When I have a little money I buy books and if there is any left over, I buy food.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Did Procrit kill my late husband?"
    Would you listen to Blood Feud again? Why?

    There was a lot going on in this story! Some of the details just didn't make sense until later and my mind was very busy wrapping around the whole story. The second time I listened to the whole story in two days time and it fit together better then. I wouldn't change a thing about the book though!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Blood Feud?

    I just could not believe they kept getting away with it and it just kept getting worse. It seemed the truth just took soooo long to come out.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wanted to but after staying up all night the first night I backed it up and took it slow because there really is a lot going on at once.


    Any additional comments?

    I was fascinated by this story. It was just very emotional for me because I have to wonder if Procrit overdose may have killed my late husband and with that on my mind the whole book through it made it rather weighty. I wish I had known about this back then so I could have gotten some answers and perhaps sued them too!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Louisville, KY, United States 06-03-12
    Karen Louisville, KY, United States 06-03-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Big Pharma has no conscience"
    What did you love best about Blood Feud?

    It won't be shocking to anyone that Big Pharma isn't well behaved. But, just how far they'll go for money was eye-opening to me.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Blood Feud?

    Noting all the medications Duxberry was on at the end of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Without the drug reps, the story couldn't have been told, but I couldn't feel too sorry for them. They became drug sales reps to make lots of money. Their whistleblower suit wasn't about doing the right thing. They weren't suddenly concerned to learn that peoples' health and lives could be affected by the medication they were pushing. They wanted their money.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie United States 10-13-14
    Debbie United States 10-13-14 Member Since 2013

    Well researched thrillers Chriton-esque. Nonfiction: Science, medical, biography, "self-help" meta cognitive sub-genre, memoir, philosophy..

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like Michael Lewis? Likely Love this Book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would absolutely recommend this book. I literally could not stop listening to it. It's one of the best "page-turners" I have experienced in years. It reads like fiction while informing factually. The writing is also simply brilliant. The story is so well told. And there are, if one listens, some very witty lines interspersed in a serious tale. Actually a scary scary tale because it's not fiction.

    This book is better than any fictional conspiracy novel could hope to be. No need to know the ins-and-outs of pharmacology of finances to follow and truly enjoy this book.


    What about Coleen Marlo’s performance did you like?

    It is very well done. The next book I heard made me want her back again.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did!


    Any additional comments?

    I've no idea why this book is on the top of many lists. I've looked for a good thriller for weeks and weeks and found it in non-fiction with this title.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Tempe, AZ, USA 06-28-12
    Steven Tempe, AZ, USA 06-28-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Very entertaining and informative"
    Would you listen to Blood Feud again? Why?

    I'm planning to listen to it a second time. The fact that the book reads like a biography made it very entertaining. This is a pretty damning indictment of big pharma and the medical industry. The love of money is the root of all evil. I wish more Americans would be aware of the info in this book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John R. Holmes, Jr. Anacortes, Washington 09-23-12
    John R. Holmes, Jr. Anacortes, Washington 09-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Slow and Frustrating"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a long saga about a person with terminal bad judgment having the bad luck to become a salesman and fall into a pharmaceutical scandal. At the end of the book, you realize the huge impact of luck on human events.

    In this case the flawed salesman, Mark Duxbury, a person who smoked, drank, had emotional problems, and used general poor judgment, was ultimately responsible for his own failed quixotic quest. We the people are the unlucky ones, because it seems pretty clear if a better person had stumbled on the Johnson & Johnson Procrit scandal, many people's lives would have been saved.

    The book suffers from another flaw. The author, in an apparent attempt to add color and interest, litters the book with similes (it spread like kelp on an artificial reef) and internal dialogues (he looked out the window and thought the weather reflected his prospects). I have a hard time believing the author was able to accurately discover minutia, such as whether Duxbury decided to pass up a cup of coffee when leaving an airport ten years earlier, so I found these bits of "color" distracting.

    As the end of the day, you'll come away believing that Procrit is bad, Johnson & Johnson is bad, many doctors and lawyers are bad, and the author has an excuse for her incredible litany of Duxbury failures. I found the whole thing boring and disappointing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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