Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All into Patients

Selling Sickness How the World s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All into Patients Thirty years ago the head of the drug company Merck made some remarkably candid comments about his distress that his company s market was limited to sick people Suggesting he would like Merck to be l

  • Title: Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All into Patients
  • Author: Ray Moynihan Alan Cassels
  • ISBN: 9781560256977
  • Page: 463
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Thirty years ago, the head of the drug company Merck made some remarkably candid comments about his distress that his company s market was limited to sick people Suggesting he would like Merck to be like the maker of Wrigley s chewing gum, the CEO said it had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people, to sell to everyone That dream now drives the marketThirty years ago, the head of the drug company Merck made some remarkably candid comments about his distress that his company s market was limited to sick people Suggesting he would like Merck to be like the maker of Wrigley s chewing gum, the CEO said it had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people, to sell to everyone That dream now drives the marketing machinery of the most profitable industry on earth From award winning Ray Moynihan, one of the world s top medical journalists Selling Sickness reveals how widening the boundaries of illness and lowering the threshold for treatments is creating millions of new patients and billions in new profits This in turn is driving up personal drug bills and threatening to bankrupt national health systems all over the world As and ordinary life is medicalized, the industry moves ever closer to being able to sell to everyone.

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      Posted by:Ray Moynihan Alan Cassels
      Published :2020-04-12T10:37:58+00:00

    About " Ray Moynihan Alan Cassels "

  • Ray Moynihan Alan Cassels

    Ray Moynihan is a journalist, author, documentary maker and academic researcher based in Australia.

  • 910 Comments

  • I read this book as an assignment for my critical thinking class. Now I have to write an essay critiquing both the validity of the argument and its soundness. So this review is a rough collection of my thoughts on Selling Sickness.If you are predisposed to accept Moynihan and Cassels' argument--i.e if you already agree with their position--then this book will merely enhance your disgust for the pharmaceutical industry. However, the book is still a useful educational tool, for it outlines the ins [...]


  • There is a very good chance that if you are taking medication for high cholesterol, depression, ADD, high blood pressure, and/or osteoporosis you don’t need it, it is not helping you and you are damaging yourself by taking the medication. These are real problems for a very small minority but the commercials you have seen make it sound like a majority of Americans suffer from these issues. You see to make more money the drug companies needed to figure out a way to get healthy people to buy drug [...]


  • As a young neurologist, I was shocked by the fact that drug companies make new diseases. It is very difficulty to tell normal and anbnormal in the medical field, especially when physicians deal with psychiatric problems like depression, anxiety, and nervousness. That's why physicians make diagnosis criteria such as DSM-4 or 5. I has believed that these criteria are based on scientific evidences and opinions from independent expert groups. But after reading this book, I can say with a little exag [...]


  • Easy to read book that shows how pharmaceutical companies are deliberately, as the title tells us, turning us into patients. Excellent research, easy to read, it tells us how most hypertensive pills will create more problems than they will solve (and you'd probably do better by exercising more and eating with greater care) - how HRT is dangerous (thank heavens this is reinforced, those drugs are dangerous. I have had not a single menopausal symptom and I suspect it is because I have for years ha [...]


  • I was apprehensive that the message of this book would be "Big pharma is making us all sick!" or some such conspiracy, but thankfully, it's not. Technically drug companies *are* trying to make us all sick, but it's by expanding the definitions of sickness -- i.e. people who were well are now classified as ill, even though nothing has changed except the definition.It's a really interesting, well-structured book about the links between drug companies and researchers, government, doctors, and patie [...]


  • This book is a quick read focused on the broad links between pharmaceutical companies, advertisement agencies and the medical community to expand and create illnesses. The most revealing and disturbing aspect is the manipulation of statistics and data to mislead doctors, patients and the healthy into believing there is a pill for every ill when the scientific data shows there is marginal benefit to most while the significant side affects are down played or ignored altogether. The book goes to so [...]


  • The title of the book rather gives the contents away. There is much to relate to while reading this as it is now patently true that many drugs are marketed to a healthy population. The side effects of some of these drugs have been well documented after their emergence on the market and the roll of physicians in aiding and abetting pharmaceutical companies to create markets is undisputed. Although not mentioned in this book I think of the teeth whitening craze that we have witnessed and the emerg [...]


  • Just as infuriating as you might expect, this book makes a strong case that a number of "health conditions" are nothing of the kind - either meaningless scaremongering or the medicalisation of everyday life. Like Listerine inventing Gingivitis, too many people are suffering side effects for little to no benefit in order to drive profit for the makers of drugs for whom the FDA is lap-dog rather than watchdog. Sickening, but not surprising.


  • Non è mistero che, se gli americani hanno fatto grandi cose, di certo hanno toppato nel creare il loro sistema sanitario. Ci sono cose che non possono essere private: in Europa e persino in Italia, dove la politica è tutto fuorché orientata al benessere del cittadino, queste cose (per ora) non succeddono. Come mai milioni di bambini americani soffrono di deficit d'attenzione, e quelli italiani no? Come mai le donne americane sono passate dalla sindrome premestruale alla "depressione premestru [...]


  • Ho comprato questo libro perchè mi incuriosiva il titolo, dopo ho fatto qualche breve ricerchina su internet, sia chiaro non definitiva nè accurata, quanto basta per mettermi l'anima in pace diciamo, e poi ho deciso di parlarne. Molti di noi si dichiarano contrari all'uso spasmodico di medicine, ma pochi rinuncerebbero a curare uno dei loro fattori di rischio, il problema è chi stabilisce quanti e quali sono i fattori di rischio e soprattutto chi stabilisce la soglia del rischio? Questo libro [...]


  • Knjiga je vredna branja, a z dodanim zrncem soli. Dragocena je predvsem kot povod za razmisleke o zdravju, medicini in tržnih vzvodih, ki delujejo za kulisami zdravstvenega sistema. Prav tako se zaradi nje lotiš prevpraševanja narave in učinka evidentno trženjskih in domnevno nevtralnih informacij, s katerimi nas pitajo mediji.Po drugi strani je knjiga mestoma precej razvlečena in napisana s podobno tendencioznim ponavljanjem sumov in obtožb, kot naj bi bile/so tendenciozne in ponavljajo [...]


  • This book is an enlightening journey into the pharmaceutical industry and their attempts to make more money. This book does a great job of giving the information and letting you decide for yourself. My favorite part was that they showed how the pharmaceutical companies are treating risk factors as conditions and pushing medications as treatments for these "risk factors", even when the side effects of these drugs can be more severe than the risk factor itself. This is a great book for anyone tryi [...]


  • Definitely food for thought. They put forward a compelling argument. It makes me thankful that we, at least, don't have direct to consumer advertising of drugs here. The book is a bit out of date now & from what I have seen things have improved a bit. Whilst it is mentioned in the book I think it is good to remember that some of the medications & diseases talked about are real & large problems for some people and medications can make a big difference to their lives.So, my take home f [...]


  • Pill-poppers beware! Most of the prescription drugs taken by Americans are unnecessary or so the authors contend. They also make a good case for disbelieving the diagnosis of the most common "diseases" which lead doctors to prescribe those needless drugs. By lowering the normal values or making the symptoms more vague, millions more Americans are suddenly "sick" and need their pills. The chapters discuss the most common or popular drugs for the following conditions: high cholesterol, depression, [...]


  • The book is about how pharmaceutical companies are using marketing strategies to sell us a specific definition of an illness, and make us think that we all need drugs, especially the drugs they are selling. The best trick is to "convince" you to associate a disease with a prescription drug, so that you ask your doctor to give you the drug you saw in the ads on TV. The "diseases" that are promoted this way are high blood colesterol, depression, menopause, ADD, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, i [...]


  • This book had a lot of potential, but I was really disappointed by the content. Each chapter discussed a different "disease" and had an interesting corresponding selling technique used by big pharma companies. However, after that, I thought the content was somewhat hard to follow. Might be worth reading if you are currently on or are in danger of being prescribed meds for the following: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hormone replacement therapy, osteoporosis, ADD, or social anxiety disor [...]


  • Trent’anni fa Henry Gadsden, direttore generale delal Merck, confessò che per lui il fatto che il potenziale mercato della società fosse limitato alla gente malata era sempre stato un cruccio e da tempo il suo sogno era produrre farmaci per gente sana.A distanza di tre decenni il sogno del defunto Gadsden si è avverato.Un libro modello inchiesta giornalistica da leggere assolutamente per capire come le case farmaceutiche creano malattie o alterino i livelli di pericolisità di alcuni parame [...]


  • Very interesting take on how the advertising of medicine is actually creating new conditions/diseases that the public buys into as a real condition or disease. What really struck me was the way the advertising and pharmaceutical companies will play with the number to make you think that whatever condition they are discussing is more prevalent and serious than it actually is (or that their medicines are more effective than they actually are).


  • A quick, interesting read. Not much new info at all for me as a reader so it felt boring at times. Also, written in 2004. Always amazing how quickly info gets dated in the medical field. Would recommend to anyone interested in a basic understanding of the "creation" of illness and the true effectiveness of drug therapies. Liked the idea of unmet-need versus unneed-met, especially in light of how many people go untreated in our medical system.


  • This book pissed me off, which I'm taking as a good thing. If you've noticed all the commericals on TV trying to convince you that you need a drug to treat "restless leg syndrome" or some other type of problem, read this first. Drug development has been wonderful in many ways, but it has a nasty side when the profits are so high, and when we all live so long. Drug companies make big $$ when they get us to take the same drugs for years.


  • Finding drugs and then seeing what they might do and then constructing an illness The largest example of this practise is the statin The drug was found to lower cholesterol and then cholesterol had to be marketed as being something that needed to be lowered!! Throwing myopathy into the wind


  • Interessante. Uno vede di che pasta sono fatte le case farmaceutiche e i medici compiacenti Siccome "Squadra vincente non si cambia" e l'umanità non è abbastanza intelligente da capire le cose al primo colpo, dopo un po' il libro, seppur ben scritto, diventa noioso. Alla terza malattia sai come funziona il giochino e il libro diventa utilissimo se non riesci a dormire.


  • uses evidence-based research to dispel some of the most-used treatment options for the first world's common health problems. depressing, but good. it's hard to think for one's self in a pharma-dominated world.


  • This book basically confirmed all of my suspicions about the way huge drug companies operate. I would recommend this to anyone looking for some perspective on the way these companies influence doctors, patients, and unfortunately the FDA.


  • a little slow and not as powerful as it could be. Exposes the horrifying links between physicians and pharmacuetical companies, as well as the soaring use of perscription drugs in our society. "Got a hang nail, we got a drug for you!"


  • I suggest reading this book if you are on or considering taking drugs for high blood pressure or high cholesterol or osteoporosis. Before you dismiss this book, know this was reading my wife did for her advanced nursing degree.


  • Just read this damn book! Especially if you are in the medical field or take prescription medications and according to the book that is everyone. The first paragraph sets the tone of the entire book and it starts a critical thinking fire to the medical industry.





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