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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Supply-driven pharmaceutical drug and disease marketing has turned nation into pill-popping hypochondriacs

Ever since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to allow drug companies to air direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements for prescription drugs on national television back in 1997, drug industry sales and profits have soared exponentially. Combined with its direct-to-doctor (DTD) marketing-slash-bribery schemes and the endless creation of new drugs for made-up diseases and conditions, Big Pharma has successfully created a hypochondriac society where every feeling, emotion, and unique human idiosyncrasy is considered to be a disease in need of a drug -- and millions of people have bought into the lie.

According to a fascinating and very well-written report in AlterNet, Big Pharma is in the business of marketing disease just as much as it is the drugs that supposedly treat disease. Known as "supply-driven marketing," the drug industry has to continually invent new conditions that require the use of exclusive, patented medications, as well as convince the public that it has such conditions. And adult ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and sleeping disorders are just a few of today's most common "blockbuster" conditions with vague diagnosing guidelines that the industry uses to push more drugs.

When one condition reaches its marketing "peak," in other words, or when the exclusive drugs used to treat that condition lose patent protection and become open to the generic market, drug companies simply invent a new drug for a new condition that they scare the public into thinking they have. Adult ADHD, for instance, is the new depression, covering a wide range of supposed "symptoms" with which millions of people "suffer." Such symptoms are deliberately vague and highly-subjective, which means that millions of people viewing print and TV ads designed to scare them into thinking they have these conditions become self-diagnosed hypochondriacs...more

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