8 Invented Diseases Big Pharma Is Banking on

By | April 22, 2010

8 Invented Diseases Big Pharma Is Banking on

Since direct-to-consumer drug advertising debuted in 1997, pharma’s credo has been When The Medication Is Ready, The Disease (and Patients) Will Appear. Who knew so many people suffered from restless legs?

But pharma’s recent plan to move from mass-market molecules into more lucrative vaccines and biologics did not see the anti-vaxer movement coming: millions of Americans saying You Want to Vaccinate Me — and My Child — with WHAT?? and condemning vials of H1N1, rotavirus and MMR vaccines to sit, well, way past their expiration dates. Nor were fears of an international vaccine conspiracy helped by former CDC Director Julie Gerberding resurfacing as President of Merck Vaccines in December. (Nice revolving door if you can catch it.)

Now pharma is back to creating new diseases, patients, risks and “awareness campaigns” faster than you can say thimerosal (the vaccine preservative that started the backlash.) …

1. SERM deficiency

A pill to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis packs the “magic three” of drug sales– fear, forever and faith–since you never know if it’s working or you need it but fear stopping….

2. Statin Deficiency

If it seems like the whole world is on statins, it’s not your imagination. Last year the FDA approved AstraZeneca’s Crestor for children as young as 10 and in March it approved Crestor for 6.5 million people who have no cholesterol or heart problems at all! (See: fear, forever and faith.) …

3. Circadian Dysrhythmia

Insomnia is a gold mine for pharma because everyone sleeps — or watches TV when they can’t. But Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata and Rozerem have reached market saturation, so pharma is rolling out subcategories like nocturnal, middle-of-the-night (MOTN) and terminal insomnia and sleep eating, sleep walking and sleep sweating (yes sweating) to boost the franchise. …

4. Adult Autism, ADHD and Refusal to Play Nicey

Having marketed adult diseases like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in 4-year-olds to death, pharma is now finding childhood diseases in adults. Adults with ADHD have hyperactivity, impulsivity, “executive function deficits” and “difficulty with organization and time management,” says Harvard Medical School’s Joseph Biederman, in a 2004 JAMA. …

5. Asthma That Requires “Two Drugs”

Leave it to pharma to develop an asthma drug–the long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs)– that triples the rate of asthma deaths, especially in African-Americans. …

6. “Treatment Resistant” Conditions

If an engine additive or laundry product didn’t work, who would chase it with another product–or two– because the manufacturer told them to? Who would pay $300 to $900 a month out of their pocket for antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and mood brighteners some of which don’t work? (see: fear, forever, faith.) …

7. Low T Men are you feeling run down and over the hill? Is your hair falling out, skin wrinkling and abdomen developing its own zip code? Have you lost interest in sex or worse, has your partner? (With you?) Do you need reading glasses, dental implants and heel splints? You’re not getting old, you just have Low T and are ready for the aging-is-really-just-low-hormones con that women have lived with for 60 years: hormone replacement therapy. …

8. “Spectrum” Disorders

Nothing proves pharma’s when-the-medication-is-ready credo better than the legions of people who have fibromyaglia now that Cymbalta, Savella and Lyrica are available to treat it. Still, a “grassroots” pharma front group is conducting a Fibromyalgia Is Real awareness campaign like it did for depression and bipolar disorder, just to make sure. …

via 8 Invented Diseases Big Pharma Is Banking on | | AlterNet.

2 thoughts on “8 Invented Diseases Big Pharma Is Banking on

  1. Oliver Stieber

    pharma is now finding childhood diseases in adults.

    To put it polity, about fucking time. They didn’t find them in me as a child and they haven’t gone away (in-fact they’ve got worse and I’m not 33)

  2. Anonymous Gamer

    Big Pharma’s habit of inventing diseases is an actual disease in itself: Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. And Autism isn’t a childhood disease, it’s a lifelong Neurodivergence. You should quit listening to Autistics Silenced aka Autism Speaks.

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