Why should the holocaust not have existed?
Holocaust Anxiety Disorder is a reality as it is Social Anxiety Disorder
Similarities between the Pharmaceutical- and the Holoceutical Industry?
Madrid - Tuesday, July 17, 2001, page 1
Selling an Illness Helps Pharmaceutical Giant Peddle Its Pill
By Shankar Vedantam - Washington Post Service
WASHINGTON - To judge by press reports, two years ago Americans began to be afflicted by a little-known malady called social anxiety disorder.
Psychiatrists and patient advocates appeared on television and in print explaining that this debilitating form of bashfulness was extremely widespread but easily treatable.
The disorder was referred to just 50 times in American media in 1997 and 1998, but there were more than a billion references to it in 1999, according to a marketing newsletter.
But the stories were not spurred by medical developments.
And about 96 per cent of the stories, said the report in PR News, a marketing newsletter, "delivered the key message, 'Paxil is the first and only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of social anxiety disorder'."
The plug for the drug was no accident.
Cohn & Wolfe, the public relations agency coordinating the campaign, did not serve at the pleasure of the doctors and patient advocates who participated in the education campaign. Instead, the agency worked at the behest of SmithKline Beecham, the pharmaceutical giant now known as Glaxo SmithKline, which makes the anti-depressant Paxil.
The campaign was supplemented by a multi-million-dollar marketing and advertising blitz. Sales of Paxil, which bad been trailing those of Prozac and Zoloft, rose 18 percent last year.
The education and advertising campaigns have raised concerns that pharmaceutical companies, traditionally in the business of finding new drugs for existing disorders, are increasingly in the business of seeking new disorders for existing drugs.
"Pharmaceutical companies who are marketing psychopharmacological treatments have gotten into the business of selling psychiatric illness," said Carl Elliott, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota who studies the philosophy of psychiatry. "The way to sell drugs is to sell psychiatric illness. If you are Paxil and you are the only manufacturer who has the drug for social anxiety disorder, it's in your interest to broaden the category as far as possible and make the borders as fuzzy as possible."
Blurring the line between normal personality variation and real psychiatric conditions can trivialize serious mental illness, some experts said.
"Some marketing seems to imply that huge proportions of the population need pharmaceutical intervention for relatively common problems, and in the long run, I am concerned that may undermine the credibility of the concept of serious mental illness," said Rex Cowdry, medical director of the National Alliance for the Mentally ill, a patients' advocacy group.
Glaxo SmithKline did not make company executives available for comment despite repeated requests. But doctors and advocates associated with the company's campaign defended the effort, saying it informed thousands of people who previously did not know they were suffering from the disorder, spurring many to seek needed help.