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Sunday, 26 October 2008

DISEASE MONGERING


In the pages of our main website and this blog, we have often commented on the role the pharmaceutical industry plays in dictating policies through their charitable foundations, astroturfing and direct marketing. We have also been very critical of the media reporting Big Pharma’s and its front groups’ press releases verbatim, without any further investigation especially when it pertains to political incorrect issues such as smoking, alcohol, and obesity.

We came across an article in The Health Reformer recently that deals with this very subject of corporate and professional interests shaping public opinion using the media as their showcase to the population. The author of the article Disease Mongering / Medicalization: A wasteful threat to public health explains how the pharmaceutical giants grow markets by promoting sickness for milder and milder conditions by redefining disease. They denounce the regulators’ complacency in this issue and organize world conferences to rectify the situation.

It is heartening to see that fortunately there is an ever increasing concern on this very important issue that has become a hazard not only to our emotional and physical well-being but to the worldwide economies as well.

In following the links in this article we have discovered that there are now specialized websites dedicated to analyze health articles in the media and criticize their value in an effort to help people make informed decisions about their body and what they want or do not want to ingest as a cure to what may not long ago have been a normal part of living. Please visit the Canadian website: Media Doctor and its U.S. counterpart: Health News Review to read their analysis on selected health news articles.

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