Jerry Avorn, M.D. Review

Editor's Review: 3.3 / 5.0

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Jerry Avorn, M.D. is the author of Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs. He is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Avorn is an internist, geriatrician, and drug researcher and has written over 200 papers on medication use and outcomes. He is one of the most often cited researchers in social science and medicine fields.

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The book is a very comprehensive look at the shortage of data that compares the worth of similar drugs for the same condition. Also, covered are the long lapses in the discovery of deadly side effects, the underuse of medications that could be life saving, generous campaigns held to influence the medication doctors prescribe to their patients, and the spiraling costs that makes drugs too expensive for many Americans to afford.

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  • The book is written in a factual nature.
  • The author has a medical degree and lifelong work in the area. He is a respected member of the medical community.


  • The book gets technical at times but remains interesting.


The book is well written by Dr. jerry Avorn. It is engaging and provokes thought as to why these things occur and how can we stop them. The doctor asks questions that every consumer wants to know such as the reliability of the United States Food and Drug Administration. The doctor uses clinical case histories from his own research as a practitioner, researcher, and advocate. He demonstrates the effectiveness of making a plan of action and using data to make prescription decisions instead of choosing a medicine based on a kick back. He contrasts these positive results with the problems that occur when the incorrect medication has been prescribed. Dr. Avorn lays out a plan that encourages the pharmaceutical industry to use their own marketing techniques to help reduce the prescription of some of the most overprescribed and overpriced drugs. Powerful Medicines is a popular book by many who are considering switching to alternative or all natural medications and vitamin supplements. However, the book is written in a way that will help you become a better advocate for yourself when you go to see the doctor or pharamcist.

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