April 3rd, 2012
Legal Drug-Pushing: How Disease Mongers Keep Us All Doped Up
Pharmaceutical giants, like small-town pizza parlors, have two options for making more money: convince regulars to buy more of what they obviously like, or find ways to persuade more people that they will be happier with this drug or that thin crust with extra cheese.
In the case of the drug companies, it’s not our taste buds they’re appealing to. Instead, they market prescription drugs directly to consumers—a practice legal only in the United States and New Zealand—by, basically, manipulating our fear of suffering and death.
These “disease mongers”—as science writer Lynne Payer in her 1992 book of that name called the drug industry and the doctors, insurers, and others who comprise its unofficial sales force—spin and toil “to convince essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill.”
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