Status: Medical News
The journal Public Library of Science Medicine is publishing a special series of articles
devoted to the practice of "diseasemongering": when pharmaceutical companies invent diseases, or market cures for benign conditions, in order to sell more drugs. The Times, reporting on the special issue
, writes that:
conditions such as female sexual dysfunction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and “restless legs syndrome” have been promoted by companies hoping to sell more of their drugs. Other minor problems that are a normal part of life, such as symptoms of the menopause, are also becoming increasingly “medicalised”, while risk factors such as high cholesterol levels or osteoporosis are being presented as diseases in their own right, according to the editors.
In Hippo Eats Dwarf
I wrote about a similar issue: how the plastic surgery industry has created medical names for various "disorders" and "deformities" that are actually perfectly normal, healthy body shapes. Examples include "batwing disorder" (loose skin under the arms), "violin deformity" (wide hips), "hypomastia" (small breasts), and "ptosis" (saggy breasts).
In related news, investigators have found that drug studies sponsored by corporations are invariably skewed to favor the study sponsors
. Industry studies will use tricks such as using too low a dose of a competitor's drug, or massaging statistics to get the results they want. In other words, you can't trust the pharmaceutical industry (no surprise there), since whenever they have to choose between profits and quality health care, they always seem to favor profits.