How to turn a condition into a disease by “selling sickness”

“Selling sickness” means that the line between healthy and sick becomes blurred – and demand for medical treatment increases. If you’re a drug company, it’s a swell way to get consumers to demand treatment that may or may not even be necessary. So says a Dutch study that investigated industry-funded information campaigns around common conditions like restless legs syndrome, overactive bladder and heartburn.

These “ask your doctor” campaigns focused on symptom advertising or disease mongering.

Dutch law, as in Canada (but not, significantly, in only two countries: the U.S. and New Zealand) prohibits “Direct To Consumer” public advertising of prescription drugs. You might well wonder why these two countries are the only ones on earth who still permit this marketing practice. Continue reading

New ‘desire drug’ claims that sex really IS all in her head

porn for women

a woman’s aphrodisiac

Apparently, there have been a lot of satisfied yet exhausted male rats lying about in Montreal research labs lately, smoking that post-coital cigarette and wondering what on earth has gotten into their little nympho rat partners all of a sudden. This is largely thanks to an experimental drug designed to reawaken female sexual desire by blunting inhibition. (We used to call thisgetting wasted’ back in art  college, a pastime which had a similar inhibition-blunting effect on us). Although yet to publish any clinical test results showing the drug is actually effective, the German drugmaker Boehringer* is putting the finishing touches on a pill that, unlike Viagra which targets the mechanics of sex by boosting blood flow to the penis, works on the female brainContinue reading

PANEXA: ask your doctor for a reason to take it!

This Stayfree magazine spoof of a fictitious drug called PANEXA would be hilarious if it weren’t so eerily close to how Big Pharma is actually marketing prescription drugs.  This “Ask Your Doctor” type of ad  is what Big Pharma calls Direct To Consumer advertising – and it really works. 

PLEASE READ THIS SUMMARY CAREFULLY, THEN ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT PANEXA AND HOW TO PROVIDE YOU WITH LARGE QUANTITIES. THIS ADVERTISEMENT DOES NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF ADVICE FROM YOUR DOCTOR; RATHER, IT PROVIDES YOU WITH NEW INFORMATION ABOUT NEW DRUGS YOU SHOULD BE USING.

PANEXA is a prescription drug that should only be taken by patients experiencing one of the following disorders:

  • circulation
  • menstruation
  • cognition
  • osculation
  • extremes of emotion

Continue reading