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Publisher's Summary

"Charlotte Bismuth gives us a bold and cinematic true crime story about her work at the intersection of medicine and greed. Bad Medicine is a gripping memoir that toggles deftly between the personal and prosecutorial." (Beth Macy, New York Times best-selling author of Dopesick)

“Bismuth has written a brilliant account of prosecuting a doctor who became a drug dealer in a white coat. She is haunted by the voices of the dead and listening closely to the voices of the living.” (Nan Goldin, artist, activist, and founder of P.A.I.N.)

"Bad Medicine is a taut exploration of America's deadly battle with opioid addiction - an unnerving and inspirational firecracker of a book." (Karen Abbott, New York Times best-selling author of The Ghosts of Eden Park

For fans of Dopesick and Bad Blood, the shocking story of New York's most infamous pill-pushing doctor, written by the prosecutor who brought him down.

In 2010, a brave whistleblower alerted the police to Dr. Stan Li's corrupt pain management clinic in Queens, New York. Li spent years supplying more than 70 patients a day with oxycodone and Xanax, trading prescriptions for cash. Emergency room doctors, psychiatrists, and desperate family members warned him that his patients were at risk of death, but he would not stop. 

In Bad Medicine, former prosecutor Charlotte Bismuth meticulously recounts the jaw dropping details of this criminal case that would span four years, culminating in a landmark trial. As a new assistant district attorney and single mother, Bismuth worked tirelessly with her team to bring Dr. Li to justice. Bad Medicine is a chilling story of corruption and greed and an important look at the role individual doctors play in America's opioid epidemic.

©2020 Charlotte Bismuth. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"This page-turning true detective story blew my mind. Charlotte Bismuth shows, in brilliant detail, what happens when patients become victims. Bad Medicine is timely and important; I can't recommend it loudly enough." (Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, author of What the Eyes Don't See)

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Profile Image for chris boutte
  • chris boutte
  • 30-01-2021

A review from a recovering drug addict

This book was incredible, and it meant a lot to me. In 2012, I had been addicted to prescription opioids for nearly a decade, I was the father of a 2-year-old son, my life was a mess, and I had a 10% chance of living. I've been clean for over 8 years, but I've met thousands of addicts trying to get clean, and I've known nearly 100 people who have died from overdoses. Due to my personal experience, I'm an advocate against the pushing of pills by doctors and pharmaceutical companies, and sometimes it feels like this problem isn't addressed, but this book from Charlotte Bismuth gives me hope. 

Charlotte was a prosecutor who helped bring down Dr. Stan Li, a man who ran a pill mill that took the lives of multiple people due to his negligence. We often downplay or forget the role that trusted doctors play in the opioid epidemic, but through Charlotte's masterful writing, we get a full view of how this happens and the families it affects. While reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing of a storyteller and writer Charlotte is. Not only do you learn about the opioid epidemic and this specific case, but she does a great job explaining the law while also sharing her personal journey during this chapter of her life. I can't put into words how great this book was, and I really hope it gets the credit and recognition that it deserves.

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  • susan chin
  • 31-01-2021

Parts Not Accurate

Cybill Stern “gf”(I know not real name) is delusional n also drug addict & in my opinion she’s complicit in Michael C. death...(u need to file charges on her) u made it sound all he did was look for drugs ...the cocaine found in his system she buys n uses with him. U put a known lair on the stand...also he had a life n home in Hawaii n is survived by two beautiful very well adjusted now teenage boys. He was a great father n loving partner (me) Feb 2010 he left Hawaii November 2010 he’s dead, u do the math!!!! She kept him drugged up to keep him there with her sick fantasies. I flew back when his mom n dad notified tht they were taking him off life support...I immediately took a red eye out (but it was too late) I attended the funeral I had security (his family n my brother) protect me so she can’t approach me (which she tried with no success) thts the TRUE story regarding Michael

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