The Heart of Darkness

“The study will address this question: How successfully can a pharmaceutical giant — through advertising and sales visits to doctors’ offices — sell a drug at a dose that has been repeatedly described as ineffective by the scientists who developed it?” Even in an era of rampant pill popping, there are a few blockbuster drug categories that stand out. And treating insomnia is one of them. The New Yorker’s Ian Parker has the story of Merck’s Suvorexant, a drug inspired by research on narcoleptic dogs: The Big Sleep. (If I wanted more sleep, I think I’d start by studying cats.)

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