Selling Sickness How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All into Patients

ISBN-10: 156025856X

ISBN-13: 9781560258568

Edition: N/A

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Thirty years ago, Henry Gadsden told Fortune that he wanted Merck to be more like chewing gum-maker Wrigley's. It had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people--to "sell to everyone." Gadsden's dream now drives the marketing machinery of the most profitable industry on earth. Using their dominating influence in the world of medical science, drug companies are systematically working to widen the very boundaries that define illness. Old conditions are expanded and new ones created, and the markets for medication grow ever large. Runny noses are now allergic rhinitis, PMS has become a psychiatric disorder, and hyperactive children have ADD. When it comes to conditions like high cholesterol or low bone density, being "at risk" is sold as a disease in its own right. Selling Sickness reveals how widening the boundaries of illness and lowering the threshold for treatments is creating millions of new patients and billions in new profits. As ordinary life becomes increasingly medicalized, the industry moves ever closer to Gadsden's dream: "selling to everyone."
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Book details

List price: $16.95
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 6/23/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.528
Language: English

Prologue: Selling sickness
Selling to everyone: High cholesterol
Doughnuts for the doctors: Depression
Working with celebrities: Menopause
Partnering with patients: Attention deficit disorder
Making risks into medical conditions: High blood pressure
Advertising disease: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Shaping public perceptions: Social anxiety disorder
Testing the markets: Osteoporosis
Taming the watchdogs: Irritable bowel syndrome
Subverting the selling: Female sexual dysfunction
Epilogue: What can we do?
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