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Short Synopsis
In The Antidote, journalist Barry Werth draws upon unprecedented inside reporting spanning more than two decades to provide a groundbreaking closeup of the upstart pharmaceutical company Vertex and the ferocious but indispensable world of Big Pharma that it inhabits.

Full Synopsis
In 1989, the charismatic Joshua Boger left Merck, then America’s most admired business, to found a drug company that would challenge industry giants and transform health care. Barry Werth described the company's tumultuous early days during the AIDS crisis in The Billion-Dollar Molecule, a celebrated classic of science and business journalism. Now he returns to tell a riveting story of Vertex's bold endurance and eventual success.

The $325-billion-a-year pharmaceutical business is America's toughest and one of its most profitable. It is riskier and more rigorous at just about every stage than any other business, from the towering biological uncertainties inherent in its mission to treat disease; to the 30-to-1 failure rate in bringing out a successful medicine even after a molecule clears all the hurdles to get to human testing; to the multibillion-dollar cost of ramping up a successful product; to operating in the world's most regulated industry, matched only by nuclear power.

Werth captures the full scope of Vertex's twenty-five-year drive to deliver breakthrough medicines. At a time when America struggles to maintain its innovative edge, The Antidote is a powerful inside look at one of the most intriguing and important business stories of recent decades.

"Pratt has a conversational tone that helps listeners engage with the topic, regardless of how much prior knowledge they have of it." ---Publishers Weekly Audio Review

"A revealing, readable book about 'some of competitive capitalism's most complicated science and most cutthroat marketing maneuvers.'" ---Kirkus

"The scientific explanations are clear, accurate, and jargon-free, a rare combination in a popular science book. Sean Pratt’s excellent reading makes the material highly accessible even to a casual listener." ----Library Journal Starred Audio Review

"Narrator Sean Pratt proves a perfect choice for helping listeners navigate prose laden with chemical and other technical language, acronyms, and legalese." ---AudioFile
Library Journal Audio

The Antidote

Inside the World of New Pharma

Author Barry Werth

Narrated by Sean Pratt

Publication date Feb 25, 2014

Running time 16 hrs 27 min

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