FT Business Book of the Year

Best business books

All the books listed for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Our Daily Meds by Melody Petersen

Our Daily Meds

Petersen connects the dots to show how subtle, far-reaching, and dangerous Big Pharma’s powers have become. — Macmillan


In the last thirty years, the big pharmaceutical companies have transformed themselves into marketing machines selling dangerous medicines as if they were Coca-Cola or Cadillacs. They pitch drugs with video games and soft cuddly toys for children; promote them in churches and subways, at NASCAR races and state fairs. They’ve become experts at promoting fear of disease, just so they can sell us hope.

There is no doubt that pharmaceutical drugs can save lives. But the relentless marketing that has enriched corporate executives and sent stock prices soaring has not come without consequences. Prescription pills taken as directed by physicians are estimated to kill one American every five minutes. And that figure doesn’t reflect the damage done as the overmedicated take to the roads.

In Our Daily Meds, Melody Petersen connects the dots to show how corporate salesmanship has triumphed over science inside the biggest pharmaceutical companies and, in turn, how this promotion-driven industry has taken over the practice of medicine and is changing American life. She shows how an industry with the promise to help so many is leaving a legacy of needless harm and potentially life-changing consequences for everyone, not just the 65 percent of Americans who unscrew a prescription cap every day.