Disease Mongering Essay

Improved Essays
Moynihan, Heath and Henry argue that the pharmaceutical industry capitalises on the want of consumers to eliminate undesirable conditions. They claim that pharmaceutical companies partake in “disease mongering”: that is, they fabricate new diseases by “widening the boundaries of treatable illness”. Critics such as Healy and Dossey agree with this claim. However, I will argue that, although not unfounded, the claim that pharmaceutical companies are guilty of disease mongering is not justified. I will argue that the definition of disease presented by Moynihan, Heath and Henry does not conform to the accepted definition of disease. Furthermore, I will argue that the pharmaceutical industry merely takes advantage of the pre-existing market for …show more content…
Individuals hold differing views on what they consider to be normal for their own physical and mental state. For some, the physical signs of aging are considered to be a deviation from normal functioning requiring treatment. The definition of disease described by Moynihan, Heath and Henry does not encompass such deviations. In fact, they claim that deviations resulting in conditions such as baldness or social phobia are not classifiable as treatable illnesses in the sense that the pharmaceutical industry classifies them. Moynihan, Heath and Henry argue that pharmaceutical companies widen “the boundaries of treatable illnesses in order to expand markets” (2002, p. 886). They label this as “inappropriate medicalisation”, by which healthy people are made to believe that they are …show more content…
Campaigns addressing health concerns, organised by pharmaceutical companies, commonly align with the release of a new drug to the market to treat the health concern. Since new treatment drugs often spend years in the approval stage and undergo many trials to ensure consumer safety, it makes no sense that marketing campaigns produce the demand for drugs. It would be nonsensical and uneconomical for a pharmaceutical company to produce drugs for which they need to create their own market. Ultimately, consumers decide which conditions are requiring of treatment.
While critics fail to recognise the consumer-origin for the demand of treatment drugs, they do recognise the opportunistic nature of marketing and consumerism. Pharmaceutical companies take advantage of the human pursuit of perfection. As is human nature, we are creatures striving to improve our own desirability and longevity. Consumers create the market for drugs that eliminate or reduce illnesses and ailments viewed as undesirable. Pharmaceutical companies merely take advantage of that, introducing quick-fix ways by which health and wellness can be

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    This new policy will definitely give a boost to the generic medicine manufacturing industry but it can also lead to a fall in innovation as investment in Research & Development to invent new drugs is a huge amount. It is going to be a challenge for the government to devise ways which do not compromise the R&D sentiment. Moreover, there should be a strict quality control mechanism so that the companies producing generic drugs do not compromise on…

    • 1051 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I am not saying that all medicines should be avoided, I am saying the use of a “miracle pill” is just not a healthy alternative to good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. When will consumers finally figure out that this “symptom stomping” way of life brought on by big business is not the answer? Alternative medicine not only focuses on the symptoms but also the cause and effect of certain illnesses. Now, there are some side effects to alternative therapies and consumers need to be educated about how they should treat their bodies but, it is my opinion, if you treat you body with respect it will respond with optimal…

    • 1048 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Which means more money for the pharmaceutical industry. The patient is no longer a patient, they are a customer. If the food industry were to produce and regulate legitimate healthy options, we would see a thriving society with less health concerns. America has forgotten the power that food holds with destroying and building your health because we are told that these magical chemically engineered pills can help us, when they don’t. If they did, why do taking some medications pose a risk to contracting another health condition?…

    • 1386 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Marcia Angell Summary

    • 866 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Marcia Angell’s lecture on the truth about drug companies denounces the pharmaceutical industry for, among many things, its greed, deceit, and lack of innovation. Understandably, her lecture has been criticized for its unfair portrayal and vilification of these drug companies. While some of her qualms with the pharmaceutical industry are subjective and short-sighted, most of her problems and related solutions are supported with data and historical evidence. She specifically outlines two main reforms to drug policy: forcing drug companies to compare new drugs with old ones before FDA approval and regulating the prices of drugs, especially those stemming from publicly funded research. One of Marcia Angell’s main complaints with the pharmaceutical…

    • 866 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Many believe the drug cost increase is caused by the non-existent drug price regulations in the US to protect consumers from price gauging by drug companies. In the case like the drug Daraprim,…

    • 1043 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Vaccines: Article Analysis

    • 1319 Words
    • 5 Pages

    It is also unethical to let a human die in a trial of a new drug, but they are not comparable because one was intentional and the other accidental. The author is trying to use ethos and pathos to make you question the motives and the testing of vaccines. Perkins is also trying to make readers feel sympathy for those who suffer from vaccination testing, and use that sympathy to arise anger towards corporations. The…

    • 1319 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Benefiting from the national media outlets, research whose conclusions is favorable to the drugs are publicized as the latest news, whereas research proving no relationship between depression and suicide is deliberately turned a blind eye to. The latter, even though its outcome is inconsistent with the prediction, should have been paid equal attention to. Similarly, Moss draws his attention to the research which is intended to find “the bliss point” of a product and finds some official papers documenting companies’ improper application of science. According to Moss, Lin—a former chef scientist for Frito-Lay—seriously treats salt as a risky food addictive that “The documents were evidence of the concern that Lin had for consumers and…

    • 1210 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    By pushing the consumer to ask their physician for their drug, an older, tested, safer drug may not be utilized if a medication is truly called for. The only benefit of direct-to-consumer advertising is to that of the huge drug manufacturing companies, companies that are a multi-billion dollar industry, not to the consumer. It is harmful to the consumer to lead healthy people to believe they are sick, harmful mentally and…

    • 1117 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Some health care workers in other states feel that is better to follow the laws the state has given them. McCullagh includes an article from the British Medical Journal, in which the article explains that vaccines are not as dangerous as people make it seem, but it violates the civil liberty of health care workers. McCullagh includes that, “Mandatory immunisation infringes civil liberty and autonomy” (3). McCullagh uses pathos by using facts that influence the reader to feel pity for the health care workers that cannot make a choice for themselves. The use of the word, “infringes”, evokes an emotional appeal by using an institute it can be credible.…

    • 882 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Dtc Advertising

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The author described potential risks of DTC advertising. For example, the pharmaceutical company abused the power of DTC advertising and promoted a less effective drug that was never proved. The author pointed out that this problem occurred because the pharmaceutical industry does not have a strong ethical code for advertising. However, the author admitted that there was also potential benefits of DTC advertising; patients with undertreated conditions could get treatment from DTC advertising. The author concluded that DTC advertising is not prohibited enough than it supposed to be.…

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays