Jerry Avorn

Jerry Avorn is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs.

Recent Articles

Shift Happens

Why is American's health-care system collapsing? Three books, three good answers.

Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer by Shannon Brownlee (Bloomsbury, 343 pages, $25.95) Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis by Jonathan Cohn (HarperCollins, 302 pages, $25.95) A Second Opinion: Rescuing America's Health Care by Arnold S. Relman (A Century Foundation book published by Public Affairs, 205 pages, $24.00) The problem is that most of us are healthy most of the time. At least, that's the problem if you want to change the health-care system. In any given year the average American isn't likely to come face-to-face with the worst that system has to offer. And those who confront its limitations most often -- the chronically ill and the uninsured -- also happen to be among the most powerless groups in the electorate. Meanwhile, the economic burdens grow each year: Medical goods and services become ever more expensive, and employers and insurers shift more costs to patients. It's not as if we haven't had a series of attempts at...