Newham Bookshop by Pete Fallan
Newham Bookshop, Pete Fallan, March 2021.

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The Poison Line by Cara McGoogan
The Poison Line is published by Penguin in paperback at £10.99.

Cara McGoogan

The Poison Line

Life and Death in the Infected Blood Scandal

The shocking true story of the infected blood scandal: the worst treatment disaster in NHS history, which saw people infected with HIV by a revolutionary medical treatment and a cover-up from governments
and the multi-billion-dollar plasma industry.

Shortlisted for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize 2024.

A Financial Times and Prospect 2023 Book of the Year.

Factor VIII was billed as a medical miracle when it was put on the market in the late 1960s: a revolutionary treatment that meant people with haemophilia no longer feared a bleed might prove fatal. But as the treatment was rolled out, haemophiliacs began to contract hepatitis and AIDS in terrifying numbers.

Even as medical bodies and pharmaceutical companies tried to discredit whistleblowers and diminish the evidence, it became abundantly clear that the miracle treatment was infected. Factor VIII was killing the very people it promised to protect. And government embarked on a cover-up on an industrial scale.

Award-winning investigative journalist Cara McGoogan follows the survivors-turned-campaigners, the small-town lawyers and the fearless journalists who took on some of the most powerful interests in the world to uncover what really happened in the infected blood scandal.

The Poison Line is the gripping tale of a terrible scandal.” — Jonathan Freedland, author of The Escape Artist.

“Books are routinely described as extraordinary, but this one really is.” — John Preston, author of Fall.

“This is a vital account of the infected blood scandal and subsequent cover-up… The truth must be told.” — Andy Burnham.

“McGoogan’s work serves as a beacon for those of us dedicated to uncovering facts in the service of justice and human rights.” — Eliot Higgins, author of We Are Bellingcat.

“The definitive account of one of modern medicine’s most chilling scandals.” — Gerald Posner, author of Pharma.

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