View Full Version : Drugs companies 'inventing diseases to boost their profits'

04-11-2006, 03:37 AM
PHARMACEUTICAL companies are systematically creating diseases in order to sell more of their products, turning healthy people into patients and placing many at risk of harm, a special edition of a leading medical journal claims today.
The practice of “diseasemongering” by the drug industry is promoting non-existent illnesses or exaggerating minor ones for the sake of profits, according to a set of essays published by the open-access journal Public Library of Science Medicine.

The special issue, edited by David Henry, of Newcastle University in Australia, and Ray Moynihan, an Australian journalist, reports that conditions such as female sexual dysfunction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and “restless legs syndrome” have been promoted by companies hoping to sell more of their drugs.

Other minor problems that are a normal part of life, such as symptoms of the menopause, are also becoming increasingly “medicalised”, while risk factors such as high cholesterol levels or osteoporosis are being presented as diseases in their own right, according to the editors.

“Disease-mongering turns healthy people into patients, wastes precious resources and causes iatrogenic (medically induced) harm,” they say. “Like the marketing strategies that drive it, disease-mongering poses a global challenge to those interested in public health, demanding in turn a global response.”

Doctors, patients and support groups need to be more aware that pharmaceutical companies are taking this approach, and more research is needed into the changing ways in which conditions are presented, according to the writers.


04-12-2006, 10:37 PM
You know, nobody is forcing anyone to take drugs against their will. Why would anyone bother with the cost and side effects if they were not getting any benefit? People do expect to live a long life (and do) and to live it pain free and functioning at the highest level possible. Life spans have increased, people are more active, and look younger than at any other time in history. Research like you reported is suspect. Perhaps it is funded by agencies such as insurance or Gov't that does not want to pay for drugs.