Friday, May 05, 2006
Pharmaceutical Companies Are Pushing Pills
"Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients" is a new book coauthored by University of Victoria, Canada drug researcher Alan Cassels. He argues that people should be skepticle before taking pills for so-called illnesses, noting that pharmaceutical companies offer drugs to essentially healthy people. Cassels and coauthor Ray Moynihan, health policy researcher, closely examines the multibillion dollar pharmaceutical industry and checks for misinformation and profit-driven behaviour. They argue that pharmaceuticals have exaggerated drug effectiveness and the number of sufferers for a host of conditions including depression, ADD, PMS, and social anxiety disorder just to name a few. One example, high cholesterol, is now being considered a disease, rather than a simple risk factor. Exposing the sometimes questionable practices of North America's drug manufacturers is not something new. However, this book shows that there's not only problems in Oklahoma and New Jersey, but in Vancouver and Edmonton as well. And although direct-to-comsumer drug advertising is technically illegal in Canada, the drug commercials mentioned in the book will be familiar to Canadians.