Books and Book Chapters

The Cochrane Collaboration: Medicine's Best-Kept Secret

By Alan Cassels. Foreward by Sir Iain Chalmers MD
224 pages, October, 2015

Cochrane Collaboration book cover

From a small rebel band of misfits that taunted the medical world to "show us the evidence", the Cochrane Collaboration has grown into a worldwide beacon of research excellence. Thousands of volunteers worldwide work under the Cochrane banner, methodically separating fact from fiction concerning medical interventions. Heroic in the medical research world, the Cochrane Collaboration is a secret to almost everyone else.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, writer and professional medical skeptic Alan Cassels was selected to draw back the curtains on the Cochrane Collaboration. His extensive interviews of Cochranites allowed him to document their achievements, resulting in a book that its leadership ultimately refused to publish.

Purchase your copy from Amazon (available soon).

Seeking Sickness

By Alan Cassels. Foreward by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch
192 pages, April, 2012

Seeking Sickness

Why wouldn't you want to be screened to see if you're at risk for cancer, heart disease, or another potentially lethal condition? After all, better safe than sorry. Right?

Not so fast, says Alan Cassels. His Seeking Sickness takes us inside the world of medical screening, where well-meaning practitioners and a profit-motivated industry offer to save our lives by exploiting our fears. He writes that promoters of screening overpromise on its benefits and downplay its harms, which can range from the merely annoying to the life threatening. If you're facing a screening test for breast or prostate cancer, high cholesterol, or low testosterone, someone is about to turn you into a patient. You need to ask yourself one simple question: Am I ready for all the things that could go wrong?

Purchase a signed copy of Seeking Sickness online for $25 including shipping and tax.

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The ABCs of Disease Mongering

An epidemic in 26 letters.
By Alan Cassels. Illustrations by Jeremy Gordaneer.

128 pages, December, 2007

Cover page of The ABC's of Disease Mondgering

Alan Cassels, co-author of the international bestseller Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All into Patients, returns to his favourite topic armed with outrageous humour and even more outrageous facts.

As if Dr. Seuss had taken on an overmedicated, overdiagnosed culture, Alan Cassels offers up a great romp of disorders that go bump in the night, along with the industry-sponsored drugs marketed to make us better again.

This illustrated, verse-form alphabet is not for the faint of heart at any age. It is, however, meticulously footnoted for therapeutic use by consumers and health policy pundits of all shapes, sizes and chemical compositions.

Take all twenty six letters of Cassels’ alphabet with a dose of good old skeptical humour. Trust us, your health care policy will feel better in the morning.

Purchase a signed copy of The ABCs of Disease Mongering online for $15 including shipping and tax.

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Selling Sickness

Co-authored by Alan Cassels
254 pages, June, 2006

Selling Sickness book

Thirty years ago, Henry Gadsden, the head of Merck, one of the world’s largest drug companies, told Fortune magazine that he wanted Merck to be more like chewing gum maker Wrigley’s. It had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people so that Merck could "sell to everyone."

Gadsden’s dream now drives the marketing machinery of the most profitable industry on earth. Drug companies are systematically working to widen the very boundaries that define illness, and the markets for prescription drugs. Read this book to see how Mr. Gadsden dream has now come true.

Chapters | Amazon

Excessive Medical Spending

Chapters contributed by Alan Cassels

Cover page of Excessive Medical Spending

This book exposes why healthcare costs have been rapidly increasing and includes a close examination of over-priced drugs. It contains a detailed explanation of how the drug industry takes billions of dollars from society each year and proposes radical new ideas to reign in excessive spending on medicine.

Based on the latest research, its unique approach takes into account the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare policy and society to offer a wide ranging account. It is invaluable for all healthcare professionals, especially managers and doctors and nurses with budgetary responsibilities. It will also be useful for researchers, policy makers and shapers, pharmaceutical company executives and general readers with an interest in medical expenditure.

Chapters | Amazon

Nutrition and Genomics

Chapter contributed by Alan Cassels

Cover page of Nutritional Genomics

Nutrigenomics is the rapidly developing field of science that studies nutrient-gene interaction. This field has broad implications for understanding the interaction of human genomics and nutrition, but can also have very specific implications for individual dietary recommendations in light of personal genetics.

Predicted applications for nutrigenomics include genomics-based dietary guidelines and personalized nutrition based on individual genetic tests.

These developments have sweeping ethical, legal and regulatory implications for individuals, corporations and governments. This book brings together experts in ethics, law, regulatory analysis, and communication studies to identify and address relevant issues in the emerging field of nutritional genomics.

Chapters | Amazon