*NEWS*DRUG FIRMS…..INVENTING DISEASES

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*NEWS*DRUG FIRMS…..INVENTING DISEASES

 user 2006-04-13 at 10:05:00 am Views: 49
  • #15141

    Drug firms ‘inventing diseases’
    Pharmaceutical firms are inventing diseases to sell more drugs, researchers have warned.
    Disease-mongering
    promotes non-existent diseases and exaggerates mild problems to boost
    profits, the Public Library of Science Medicine reported.
    Researchers
    at Newcastle University in Australia said firms were putting healthy
    people at risk by medicalising conditions such as menopause.
    But the pharmaceutical industry denied it invented diseases.    
    DISEASE-MONGERING
    Restless legs – Prevalence of rare condition exaggerated
    Irritable bowel syndrome – Promoted as a serious illness needing therapy, when usually a mild problem
    Menopause – Too often medicalised as a disorder when really a normal part of life
    Report
    authors David Henry and Ray Moynihan criticised attempts to convince
    the public in the US that 43% of women live with sexual dysfunction.
    They
    also said that risk factors like high cholesterol and osteoporosis were
    being presented as diseases – and rare conditions such as restless leg
    condition and mild problems of irritable bowel syndrome were
    exaggerated.
    The report said: “Disease-mongering is the selling of
    sickness that widens the boundaries of illness and grows the markets
    for those who sell and deliver treatments.
    Campaigns
    “It is
    exemplified mostly explicitly by many pharmaceutical industry-funded
    disease awareness campaigns – more often designed to sell drugs than to
    illuminate or to inform or educate about the prevention of illness or
    the maintenance of health.”
    The researchers called on doctors,
    patients and support groups to be aware of the marketing tactics of the
    pharmaceutical industry and for more research into the way in which
    conditions are presented.
    They added: “The motives of health
    professionals and health advocacy groups may well be the welfare of
    patients, rather than any direct self-interested financial benefit, but
    we believe that too often marketers are able to crudely manipulate
    those motivations.
    “Disentangling the different motivations of the
    different actors in disease-mongering will be a key step towards a
    better understanding of this phenomenon.”
    But Richard Ley, of the
    Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said the research
    was centred on the US where the drugs industry had much more freedom to
    promote their products to the public.
    “The way you can advertise is much more restricted in the UK so it is wrong to extrapolate it.
    “Also,
    it is not right to say the industry invents diseases, we don’t. It is
    up to doctors to decide what treatment to give people, we can’t tell
    them.