Selling Sickness

Satisfactory Essays
The head of Merck, one of the world's largest drug companies, Henry Gadsden told fortune magazine thirty years ago that he wanted Merck to become more similar to companies such as Wrigley's chewing gum. He said to make drugs for a healthy person has been his dream for years so that Merck could "sell to everyone". Today, Gadsden's dream has become a reality, and marketing to the healthy now is the driving force behind one of the most profitable industries in the world. Drug companies are systematically working to widen the very boundaries that define illness by using their dominating persuasion in the world of medical science. Old conditions are expanded, new ones created, and markets for medication grow even larger. Mild problems are redefined as serious illness and common complaints are labeled as medical conditions requiring drug treatments. Common examples of this can be seen when runny noses are now allergic rhinitis, PMS has become a psychiatric disorder, and hyperactive children have attention deficit disorder. These advertisers and marketers recently are labeling people with high cholesterol or low bone density "at risk" of a disease in itself. This book, Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All into Patients, shows how the expanding boundaries of illness and lowering the threshold of treatments is creating millions of new patients. As a direct outcome of this, billions of dollars worth of profits are going to pharmaceutical corporations. This change may revolutionize the health-care systems world wide. As more and more of everyday lives become medical, and people's perspectives are being skewed the drug industry becomes closer to the concept "selling to everyone". Selling Sickness reveals the marketing techniques of the world's biggest and most powerful drug companies. These industries are now aggressively targeting the healthy and well households and individuals throughout the world. Promotional campaigns are being used to exploit some of human's deepest fears: death, illness, and disease. The $500 billion pharmaceutical industry is practically changing what it means to be human. Pharmaceutical companies have been rightfully rewarded for saving millions of lives and reducing suffering, but this book argues that the lines are being crossed from reaching from the ill to merchandise to the healthy. At this day in age, when the average lifespan has been lengthened and people are enjoying healthier more vital lives, intense advertising and "awareness-rising" campaigns are turning the worried well into the worried sick.
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