Selling Sickness

How drug companies are turning us all into patients

Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels
AUD $26.99
Availability: Print on demand

A controversial and provocative look at the way pharmaceutical companies are creating and marketing illness.

read this book and rage.' Clive Hamilton

This remarkable investigation of the Sickness Industry is by two accomplished writers with an incredible story to tell.' Robyn Williams

Three decades ago, the head of one of the world's leading drug companies made some remarkably candid comments. Wishing his company was more like the chewing gum maker Wrigley's, the chief executive of Merck said it had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people, and sell to everyone'. That dream now drives the marketing machinery of one of the most profitable industries on the planet.

Using their dominating influence in medical science, drug companies are marketing fear in order to re-define human illness. In alliance with company-friendly doctors and sponsored patient groups, the all-powerful pharmaceutical industry is helping to widen the very definitions of disease, in order to expand markets for its drugs.

With compelling clarity, Selling Sickness reveals how the ups and downs of daily life are becoming mental disorders, and common complaints are being transformed into frightening conditions. Shyness is Social Anxiety Disorder, PMS is a psychiatric illness called PMDD, and active children now have ADHD. As more and more ordinary people are turned into patients, drug companies move ever closer to that dream of selling to everyone.

Author bio:

Ray Moynihan is one of the world's leading health writers. His work has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Australian Financial Review, the British Medical Journal, Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine. Alan Cassels is a Canadian researcher and writer who works on drug policy issues.

Category: Current Affairs & Politics
ISBN: 9781741145793
Awards: Short-listed 50th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism, The inaugural Literary Award 2005 AU
Table Of Contents: Prologue

1. Selling to everyone - High cholestorol

2. Donuts for the doctors - Depression

3. Working with celebrities - Menopause

4. Partnering with patients - Attention deficit disorder

5. Making risks into medical conditions - High blood pressure

6. Advertising diseases: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

7. Shaping public perceptions - Social anxiety disorder

8. Testing the markets - Osteoporosis

9. Taming the watchdogs - Irritable bowel syndrome

10. Subverting the selling - Female sexual dysfunction

Epilogue - What can we do?
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: June 2005
Page Extent: 272
Format: Paperback
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: Social issues & processes