Big pharma's literary ambitions

There are occasions -- rare as they may be -- when I feel duty-bound to exercise my writing muscles on this blog, but happily this isn't one of them:


In a tale worthy of a zany Washington satire - except for the lamentable fact that it's true - the rich and powerful pharmaceutical lobby secretly commissioned a thriller novel whose aim was to scare the living daylights out of folks who might want to buy cheap drugs from Canada.
When the project fell through in July, I'm told the drug lobby offered $100,000 to the co-authors and publisher in a vain effort to sweep it under the rug. ...
Work began in April, after (Phoenix Books honcho) Viner hired veteran ghostwriter Julie Chrystyn. Her story concerned a Croatian terrorist cell that uses Canadian Web sites to murder millions of unwitting Americans looking for cut-rate pharmaceuticals. [LINK via Gawker]
So Tom Clancy, except those pesky pharma execs were looking for Bridget Jones: "They said they wanted it somewhat dumbed down for women, with a lot more fluff in it, and more about the wife of the head Croatian terrorist, who is a former Miss Mexico." Turns out the biggest users of Canadian drugs are women. Damn those Canuck-whores!

Other tasteful suggestions: "They also wanted to change the motivating factor of the terrorists to greed, because they didn't want it to be politics .. They wanted lots of people to die."

The drug industry's lack of literary appreciation eventually killed the project's funding, but the good news is that the authors plan to persevere. "The Karasik Conspiracy" is expected to hit the bookstands early next year.

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