The Money Trap

Big Pharma’s bid to woo doctors, patient groups, journalists, and the rest of us

For more than 30 years, the physician Joel Lexchin has been a crusading Cassandra, warning Canadians of the commingling of interests between the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry—and the dire risks it poses to drug safety and public health. His 1984 book, The Real Pushers: A Critical Analysis of the Canadian Drug Industry, foreshadowed by decades the rise of a booming literary genre devoted to the pharmaceuticalization of medicine—from Marcia Angell’s 2004 book, The Truth About Drug Companies: How they Deceive Us and What to Do About It, to Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients (2012).

Lexchin, a professor at the University of Toronto’s department of family and community medicine (he is also a professor emeritus at York University’s school of health policy and management), is a go-to source for journalists writing about drug...