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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Summer 2003

Book Reviews

Biopharma: Biopharmaceutical Products in the U.S. Market

Reviewed by
D. Lynn Koenig
University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas

Rader, Ronald A. Biopharma: Biopharmaceutical Products in the U.S. Market. 2nd Edition, 2003. ISBN: 0-9639573-2-5 Price: $240 plus $15 Shipping and Handling

This is the second edition of Biopharma, a reference book that contains information about biopharmaceuticals in the United States. The first edition, as well as a revised first edition, was published in 1991. The author, who is also the publisher, edited The Federal Bio-technology Transfer Directory in 1994. This book serves as an encyclopedia for pending, as well as all approved, biopharmaceuticals. There is also an examination of things that have been previously approved and controversial, but these products are not analyzed as much in depth as the current biopharmaceuticals.

The target audience for this particular book would be someone doing research on a particular biopharmaceutical who needed a lot of in-depth information without having to go to many different sources. This book is a good compilation of information.

This publication is very worthwhile. The author states that this book should not be used to give medical or health care advice or information; it is strictly a pharmaceutical reference tool. With that said, the information that it contains is in depth and detailed. The book is well written and very well researched. The author does a good job laying out the information. Some of the entries include vaccine products, toxins, and insulin products. The web site for the book has some sample entries.

There are useful tools such as a very extensive table of contents and very detailed indexes, such as: a state index, a company index, a chemical index and a medical index. The user will be able find information quickly and easily. At the front of the book there is also a user guide that can be very useful. It explains to the user how the book is arranged and talks about the importance of entry numbers.

Each individual entry is well defined with the use of bold headings and subheadings. For example, each entry contains an entry number and title, what the main names are, a description and history when available, as well as the status and other important information about the particular pharmaceutical, including the manufacturers involved.

One thing that is very valuable about this book is, that for some of the entries, the author has taken the time to provide the user with additional reading and sources that he or she could use for further research.

This book is not for the lay person wanting to know about current pharmaceuticals on the market. Much of the information contained in this book is extremely difficult for the non-professional person to understand, but this reference would more than likely be used by professionals who were already familiar with the field before using this book. Since it is expensive, it is not necessarily appropriate for all libraries.

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