The Drug Hunters The Improbable Quest to Discover New Medicines by Donald R. Kirsch and Ogi Ogas is a history of the development of the drug industry and a look behind the scenes at why it is the way it is including the high costs and the reason cures for certain diseases and other treatments haven't been developed.
Great History. This book begins with early prehistoric man using herbs and plants for their medicinal value and follows the development of this branch of science to the present day. It covers each era in good detail describing what happened, why, what influenced it, what were the results, and who some of the major players were. It was incredibly informative.
Good Detail and Explanation. This book has a lot of information and a lot of science, but it is mostly digestible for the educated reader. I appreciate the authors didn't dumb anything down, although they weren't very skilled at making science accessible to the average reader and would have benefitted from an additional co-author.
Cultural / Historical References. The authors make several pop culture references and historical parallels that aren't exactly correct. Steve Jobs did not invent the iPhone, and it was as much of a happy accidental convergence at the birth control pill.
Author Bias. The authors make it very clear they are devoted followers of the mainstream media and think that's the only educated course of action. At the beginning they offer a completely reasonable explanation to why plants and animals contain helpful substances for humans, but completely dismiss it for the rest of the book, because they can't entertain the idea there may actually be a guiding force behind the creation of this planet.
What I Would Like to Have Seen
I wish the authors had been a little more educated on history outside of their field so their examples and cultural references hadn't been so glaringly incorrect. It made them less credible and made me question if their other information might also be inaccurate.
The Drug Hunters The Improbable Quest to Discover New Medicines by Donald R. Kirsch and Ogi Ogas is a fascinating look at the history of the drug industry, how it works, and why it does what it does, and why it develops or doesn't develop what it does. The authors work in the industry, so they have a lot of first hand knowledge on the specifics. They doesn't seem to have spent much time learning anything else, because their incorrect references to pop culture and other history make made them less credible and make the reader question if their other information might also be inaccurate. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 eReaders.