Our Daily Meds By Melody Peterson

760 Words4 Pages
In Melody Peterson’s “Our Daily Meds” , the history of marketing and advertising in the pharmaceutical industry is explored. The first chapter of the book, entitled “Creating disease”, focuses on how major pharmaceutical companies successfully create new ailments that members of the public believe exist. According to Peterson, the success that these drug manufacturers have experienced can be attributed to the malleability of disease, the use of influencial people to promote new drugs, the marketing behind pills, and the use of media outlets. “There is no real definition for disease. ” This is a claim that Melody Petersen makes in her book. Most would define disease as an abnormality in regards to health. This seems logical, but it leads to the following question : what is “normal” ? What is the definition of “healthy” ? Asking major pharmaceutical companies these questions will most likely lead to the following conclusion: disease is malleable. In other words, it is open to a certain level of interpretation. According to Petersen, giant drug manufacturers consider disease to be a business. Thus, they create a market out of people’s physical or emotional shortcomings. In 1998, Pharmacia, a large American manufacturer of prescription drugs, advertised a drug named Detrol, which (it claimed) was a solution for a condition called “overactive bladder”. Pharmacia began claiming that those who felt the urge to urinate nine or more times a day needed to use this medication. The company deliberately failed to mention that an increasing need to urinate is part of the aging process. Instead, it claimed that the condition was both abnormal and detrimental to people’s social lives. Pharmacia also used physicians to prom... ... middle of paper ... ...ing cures is nonexistent within the pharmaceutical industry. The latter yearns for a continuous use of medication among a population. Because of these powerful companies, we live in a world that would prefer to create a disease and offer a temporary fix for it in the form of a medication than to cure it. Questions -Does medical marketing make use of the fear of getting sick that many people experience? -Can education protect people from the manipulation techniques of the pharmaceutical industry? -Should doctors be obligated to disclose any affiliation they have with companies in the drug industry? -Why are these pharmaceutical companies still thriving despite the fact that their true intentions have been exposed? -Do these companies still advertise in the same way as they did the 1990s, or have they changed their approach ? (Are they still “creating” diseases?)
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