Dr. Sidney Wolfe is the founder and Director of Health Research at the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, and is also the author of the consumer guide called “Worst Pills/Best Pills”. Among the drugs mentioned in this guide under the “worst” section are birth control pills containing the synthetic hormone called drospirenone, listed with cautionary warnings “due to the increased risks of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death, or gallbladder injuries”. An article posted on the Worst Pills website revealed that studies funded by the drug industry found lower risks of blood clots than did studies that were publicly funded.
There are, in fact, over 10,000 individual lawsuits pending over injuries and deaths related to drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol tablets. You may know them better as Yaz (or Yasmin in Canada), as well as Ocella (generic Yasmin). New safety warnings published last April in the British Medical Journal now suggests a two to five-fold increased risk of thromboembolic or blood clot-related injuries in women taking birth control medications that contain drospirenone, which generally provide no greater benefits than those seen with older, safer birth control pill formulations without drospirenone. Continue reading →
No matter what ails you, there’s a pill for it. And if nothing ails you, just wait. Pharmaceutical companies are working on drugs right now that just need a disease to treat. So let’s invent one! It’s what Big Pharma watchers call disease-mongering. For example, we used to call it laziness, but now we know that it’s really a medical condition called Motivational Deficiency Disorder. And don’t even get me started on Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder!
Need to take a pill for something, anything? We’ve got drugs for everything.
The term ‘disease-mongering’ was first coined by author Lynn Payerin the 1992 book Disease Mongers: How Doctors, Drug Companies and Insurers Are Making You Feel Sick. Ray Moynihan, Iona Heath and David Henry then wrote this in April of that same year in the British Medical Journal:
“Pharmaceutical companies sponsor diseases and promote them to both prescribers and consumers.
“There’s a lot of money to be made from telling healthy people they’re sick. Some forms of medicalising ordinary life may now be better described as disease mongering: widening the boundaries of treatable illness in order to expand markets for those who sell and deliver treatments.
“The social construction of illness is being replaced by the corporate construction of disease.” Continue reading →