Selling Sickness: Why the drug companies NEED us to be sick.

Time for another book report..this time its Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All into Patients by Ray Moynihan & Alan Cassels .

This book, although containing some information I had known about before, is quite a stunning expose on the pharmaceutical industry. The authors investigate how drug companies have “reclassified” diseases in order to include many more people that may need their drugs, and how doctors that have ties to the different companies give lectures to other doctors about how great these drugs are, sometimes without letting on that they are being paid by the companies to do so. With chapters about ADD, cholesterol, female sexual dysfunction and other so-called “diseases”, they try to explain that not every patient taking drugs for their ailments even need the drugs they are prescribed; rather, they could help themselves by changing their diets or getting some exercise.

The book also describes how the many celebrities that we see on TV talking about their personal problems are actually being PAID to pitch different drugs. For example, Kelsey Grammer’s wife was on every talk show a few years ago talking about her IBS…well it turns out that the drug company that manufactured the drug she was taking was paying her to make appearances on talk shows, making it seem like she was discussing her issue to raise awareness, not to pitch the drug. But the drug was always mentioned and people had no idea that it was an advertisement.

To wrap up this review, the drug companies WANT and NEED us to be they do everything in their power to invent problems, reclassify “diseases” and to promote their drugs through vacations, seminars and samples to doctors across the country. I understand that some people do have legitimate medical issues, and some drugs have really helped people live better lives. But please, the next time you are watching TV and an ad comes on for a disease you have never heard of, dont assume you have it and go get a prescription from you doctor. Do the research. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about how the drug companies market their product and make billions of dollars. You can read some excerpts from inside the book or pick up your own copy by clicking on book above.

technorati tags:sickness pharmaceuticals drug companies

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