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Drug Companies Invent Diseases (aka Diseasemongering)
Status: Medical News
The journal Public Library of Science Medicine is publishing a special series of articles devoted to the practice of "diseasemongering": when pharmaceutical companies invent diseases, or market cures for benign conditions, in order to sell more drugs. The Times, reporting on the special issue, writes that:

conditions such as female sexual dysfunction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and “restless legs syndrome” have been promoted by companies hoping to sell more of their drugs. Other minor problems that are a normal part of life, such as symptoms of the menopause, are also becoming increasingly “medicalised”, while risk factors such as high cholesterol levels or osteoporosis are being presented as diseases in their own right, according to the editors.

In Hippo Eats Dwarf I wrote about a similar issue: how the plastic surgery industry has created medical names for various "disorders" and "deformities" that are actually perfectly normal, healthy body shapes. Examples include "batwing disorder" (loose skin under the arms), "violin deformity" (wide hips), "hypomastia" (small breasts), and "ptosis" (saggy breasts).

In related news, investigators have found that drug studies sponsored by corporations are invariably skewed to favor the study sponsors. Industry studies will use tricks such as using too low a dose of a competitor's drug, or massaging statistics to get the results they want. In other words, you can't trust the pharmaceutical industry (no surprise there), since whenever they have to choose between profits and quality health care, they always seem to favor profits.
Categories: Health/Medicine
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 13, 2006
Glad you realise that smile

I have recently heard stories of a drug called tryptofan(sp)
it was a good drug, everyone liked it and the market was flooded
A certain company, (naming no names but I beleive they may had been involved in the production of zyklon B for the nazi's during WWII) wanted to put out their own drug to compete with with it.
What they did was put out their own contaminated batch, people got sick and because the FDA are in their pocket (I understand a lot of senior people in the FDA used to work for this company, so no clash of interest there.) Anyway the FDA had all tryptofan removed from the shelves as potentially hazardous.
Posted by Sharruma  in  capable of finishing a coherent  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  12:39 PM
I should qualify my above comments about this company by adding I don't know how true any of the claims many are about them are.
Posted by Sharruma  in  capable of finishing a coherent  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  12:42 PM
Sharruma: tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid that is "essential in human nutrition." But, it is not a drug.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan

The rumor is that it is the chemical in turkey that makes you fall asleep after Thanksgiving dinner, but scientists have their doubts about that.

Zyklon B is the cyanide based insecticide that the Nazis used to commit atrocities many years ago. I doubt much, if any, of your story is true.
Posted by BugbearSloth  in  earth, 3rd planet, sol system  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  02:04 PM
I'll admit I'm not 100% sure of my facts
but the company has been around a very long time smile

The main point of my argument, even though it might be mainly hearsay is that I wasn't surprised at all at what Alex said in his post.
Posted by Sharruma  in  capable of finishing a coherent  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  03:41 PM
I worked as a pr person for a number of small companies in the biotech industry for about a year and a half, and I would always get an earful from them about the evils of big pharmaceutical companies. Specifically, the small biotechs were convinced that Big Pharma often tries to prevent cures for diseases from coming to market, on the theory that there's more money to be made from treating diseases on a chronic basis (i.e. forcing patients to take a pill for the rest of their life) rather than simply curing the disease and having it go away.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  04:20 PM
There are also a whole bunch of "orphan drugs," which are quite effective and safe, but nobody wants to make and market them, because either not enough people have the conditions those drugs treat (so the potential market is small), or the drug is out of patent and so the drug companies couldn't gouge as high a price as for other drugs. In other words, the drugs are perfectly good, but not profitable enough.
Just one more idea of what a strange idea it is to mix health care and capitalism.
Posted by Big Gary in Glen Rose, Texas  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  06:40 PM
You said it, Big Gary. Although I'd replace "strange" with just plain "bad".
Posted by Reynard Muldrake  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  07:16 PM
My father has been saying for years (longer than I can remember), that the pharmaceutical companies are only interested in controlling the the disease, not curing it... THERE'S NO MONEY IN THE CURE.

When I was in the Navy, I worked with a very prominant surgeon. He insisted (that was back in 1988) there is a cure for cancer, but we will never see it - much for the same reason...
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Fri Apr 14, 2006  at  06:43 AM
Claims that Big Pharma is sitting on cures for this, that, and the other have been around for as long as Big Pharma. Before that it was The Government... or just Them:)

I'm deeply suspicious of such claims, especially as they apply to very difficult diseases like AIDS and very diverse and complex diseases like cancer. It seems to me to be rooted in a mistaken belief that it's easy to find a silver bullet cure... and, morover, one which is not found again and again by different researchers.

I would be very unsurprised, though, to find that Big Gary's 'orphan drug' claim was true - although I think the most likely such issue is with drugs which may or may not be effective but which are too easily copied for the drug companies to bring to market.

Bear in mind it takes an average of over two billion dollars to bring a drug to market - partly because of the cost of original research and basic science, and partly because of the legislative hoops that mean most of the drugs we get are relatively safe. Yes, it would be great if we didn't have to rely on 'mixing health care and capitalism', but what other options do we have?

Regulation is the key, I feel - more of it, not less (health care is one are where less government is a very, very bad thing). It should not be possible for drug companies to game the results of tests.
Posted by outeast  on  Fri Apr 14, 2006  at  08:31 AM
Yes, the thing about "orphan drugs" is certainly very real, and can be a bit of a conundrum for pharmaceutical companies and a real problem for sick people.

My wife had an extremely rare disorder, one of only about 20 known cases of it in all of medical literature. A medicine had been somewhat unintentionally developed by a company that would help her with some of the symptoms, but then the company had to make an ethical and business decision: would they spend lots of money and take a loss by providing these pills to the dozen or so people who could use it, or would they save money by not producing it? I'm not sure why they couldn't use it on people with more common problems that had similar symptoms, but apparently they couldn't.

They actually did decide to make it, as it turns out, probably partly because she was the daughter of one of their long-standing employees. But it was a difficult decision for them and I know that sometimes they do take the other option.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat Apr 15, 2006  at  01:48 AM
I know that this is true, but as an actual sufferer of "Restless Legs Syndrome" (the worst name for an actual condition ever), I don't like its being included in the list.

I have had this condition my entire life, and thought it was normal, but terribly annoying, both to me when I sleep, and to those around me when I bounce my legs interminably.

I wish it were just a case of them making something up, but the fact that they've now diagnosed it and I can help it is enough for me.

So, I am torn as to whether I should like this.
Posted by Kevin  in  Minnesota  on  Sun Apr 16, 2006  at  06:36 PM
I applaud your blog,i took zyprexa which was ineffective for my condition and gave me diabetes.

{Only 9 percent of adult Americans think the pharmaceutical industry can be trusted right around the same rating as big tobacco}

I have a victims support page against Eli Lilly for it's defective Zyprexa product causing my diabetes.--Daniel Haszard http://www.zyprexa-victims.com
Posted by Daniel Haszard  in  Bangor Maine USA  on  Fri May 26, 2006  at  01:41 PM
I agree with this article and couldn't help but comment on it. Indeed when we have serious conflicts of interest whereas drug companies are allowed to test their "own" drugs, say "they" find them to be safe, then get approval from FDA board memebrs who have also been noted to work for these same drug companies or in some cases have stocks and patent rights on those same drugs they are approving then we see why these drugs continue to be approved to only later reveal to cause so many tragedies.

For several decades now we have had drug companies hiring doctors to get together and try to find the common tread of symptoms in all children, or adults, so they can indeed "create" a new label for a new drug. They created millions of new drug users when they greatly lowered cholesterol levels. Meanwhile lowering cholesterol does NOT prevent heart attacks. Good grief. What's more the drugs caused heart attacks because they blocked much absorbtion of vital CoQ10.

The true history of the fake labels of ADD and ADHD reveals the truth when the money is followed right back to the doctors who created those labels who recieved huge sums of money from drug companies to concoct those labels to TARGET children no less. These fake diseases compile a majority of symptoms displayed by quite normal children. Now they have trained teachers to play doctors without a license and be watch dogs for these drug companies to hand feed them more children to be placed on these dangerous drugs linked to stunting growth, shrinking the brain, and causing chemical imbalances where there were NONE before taking the drugs, all for so-called new mental disorders that to this date have no hard science behind them with not one verifiable test. It is all "subjective" of the doctor evaluating the child or the untrained panel of a school.
Posted by Pamela  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  01:59 AM
Restless legs is no more then a mineral or vitamin deficiency. Check your levels and your will find what is causing what they called in the old days-poor circulation and with the cramps charley horses. Same old effects of people eating very poor diets and not getting enough exersize.

L-Tryptophan is the best natural anti-depressant there is (yes it is an amino acid and one of the most needed ones for good mental state-yes it can be found in turkey among other foods) and there WAS such a scandal years ago involving ONE contaminated batch that came out of China. This is NOT a rumor. Check it out yourself. They did indeed try to ban all tryptophan-never once thinking to just ban it from the company who produced the tainted batch. It was never accomplished due to a huge backlash and it can stil be found on the shelf. HTP5 also has a form of tryptophan in it.

Tryptophan was and IS a huge threat to toxic chemical anti-depressants because it does WORK for one thing and it does not induce and cause suicides like prescription anti-depressants do-thus the FDA was forced to add that black box warning last year for children ages 18 and under. As if the day after they turn 18 the drug will miraculously not cause suicidal tendencies? Good grief. Why was the FDA forced to add this black box warning? MANY Children killed themselves and parents united to demand action.

Mainstream medicine has become the number one killer of Americans over all diseases. If we take a chemical to stop a biological conditon and that chemical causes what we were trying to stop then how is that working for us?
Posted by Pamela  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  02:01 AM
Yes, there ARE cures for cancers and YES many have been supressed. but not so much that you are deprived of seeing them. Do your homework and see for yourself because you can still find them regardless of the efforts of controlled chemical medicine.

There are well over 300 cures for cancer. Look into Bill henderson's Book for a lot of information and the Cancer Tuter site. The Budwig diet to cure cancer has been around for decades. So has Essiac's tea. Many choice in healing natural with not one that makes us throw up, lose our hair, and dwindle down to a skeletons weight because they HEAL. What a novel idea for health?

Right now my Mother is curing her own lung cancer and after being on natural supplements and all organic diet for only two weeks her tumors have already shrunk sizably and she is feeling more energy then ever before. Her oncologist is amazed but STILL uses the fear tactics to try and get her to opt for chemo.75% of a cancer doctors earnings come from peddling this toxin. No thanks. If she would have opted for toxic chemo, radiation or sacrificed a body part her alternative choices in healing her cancer would have been cut down by at least 70%.

Mainstream cancer protocols are a sick tragedy in this country and the sooner people get that and take charge of their own health the better off they would be.
Posted by Pamela  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  02:04 AM
Check out the studies on curing heart disease in the two time nobel prize winning doctor Linus Pauling who also used high doses of vitamin C to CURE cancer. The reports and studies ARE out there and NO they are not hidden.

But you will not be told these choices in safe healing by a doctor who makes all his profits off of selling you chemicals that will kill you and or keep you sick for life to ensure a life time patient out of you. You will not get them from a doctor who has zero education in natural healing either. he will sell you what he knows. You will only get the choices available to you based upon the "type" of training the doctor has that you seek. Obviously they will not offer what they know nothing about. By law mainstream doctors cannot offer anything but radiate, cut, and burn and that has got to change if we want to see cancer become a thing of the past.
Posted by Pamela  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  02:07 AM
There ARE also cures for AIDS. Look at the most recent advances in the esteemed Dr. Mathius Rath's work with Africans that he HAS cured from AIDS using all natural means. Dr. Rath also co-authored many studied with the esteemed Dr. Linus Pauling. Dr. Burzinzki also has a hospital in Houston in which he has healed many cancer patients. But his prices are outrageous compared to other choices and they are not coverd by insurance.

And there are CURES for autism. This I know personally because I helped to cure my own son from vaccine induced full blown autism. Two years ago ALL labels of autism were removed and yet the sham autism organizations are growing as fast as the sham cancer organizations did-still acting like there is no cure (and there is a cure for autism) while of course using sick children to lure people into opening their wallets to help fund a new sham society of sell outs that will NOT help these precious children heal. Instead they will throw them into a system filled with toxic choices that will keep them disabled. It's no shock that vaccines are linked to serius neurological disorders like autism, Alzhiemers, Parkinsons and a myriad of other illnesses we are now seeing in epidemic proportions in our children like rare cancer, asthma, diabetes, and allergies. In the 80's they gave 10 vaccines. Today's children are inundated with well over 36 vaccines and a majority of them are given before the age of two when the myelin sheathe has not yet formed on their brain stem cells. You do the math of the acumulative load of all those toxins in vaccines. LOOK at the ingredients and forget the viruses to just see what they use for the adjuvants and preservatives alone and it will make you stop and pause and not "wonder" any longer why our children are sicker and sicker today then ever before.

People can believe there is no such thing as cures for these very treatable, but serious conditions, or they can take charge of their health, and find the real answers that heal for a change instead of the toxic choices that continue to claim thier minds and lives. I for one will never willingly step foot into another legal drug pushers office again. I know what heals and it will never be found in the bottom of a chemical prescription bottle. They can continue to create all the new fake diseases as long as the sheep line up and buy into it. When people finally get sick of being sick, they may just realize this system has seriously failed us and seek out the truth.
Posted by Pamela  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  02:08 AM
AIDS is directly linked to vaccines too. The Hep B vaccine to be exact. Look into the work of Dr. Len Horowitz and Dr. Allan Cantwell to see much more on that. Dr. Horowitz has actual declassified government documents that shows dates they gave funding for US labs to create the virus and the paper trail that follows it to the vaccines they gave in experiments first in the US then through the WHO in vaccines doled out in Africa. AIDS did not come from Africa, we gave it to them and these blasted dangerous AZT drugs are killing them faster then the AIDS virus itself ever would.

Educate yourselves people and realize that the mainstream media is largely funded by drug companies today. Count the drug ads yourself for just one hour of mainstream news if you need a shred of proof of that. Thus you are NOT going to see any of these very damaging truths going against the hand that feeds those sell outs.
Posted by Pamela  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  02:09 AM
Wow Pamela, couldn't you work 9/11 in there somewhere?
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  11:25 AM
Pamela may not weave 911 into this thread, but I'll be glad to, thank you. Has anyone noticed that since 911, a great plethora of sleep-aid drugs has come to the forefront, as has mood elevators, antidespressants, etc.? Is it tin-foil conspiracy to suggest that Big Pharma has exploited the climate of fear to their consumer advantage? I don't think that Big Pharma or GWB caused 911, but it's sure proven to their advantage, has it not? Remember, rattle the cage, and the rats run for the feeder bar. Squeek
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  12:29 PM
I agree with the post and comments. Most drugs cause more problems than help. Strongest drugs do more damage, so getting advice from doctor before taken is a must. Always keep your liver clean from any drugs and never combine with food or unprescribed suplements.
Posted by Pamelor  in  Bulgaria  on  Wed Feb 27, 2008  at  05:02 AM
One thing that dramatically helped me and the wife from various maladies is when we decided to stop eating chemical-injected food, and food sprayed with pesticides. It's only been a month on organic foods (and no more sugar or diet sodas) and we use stevia instead of sugar, but no more Tums, and we sleep a lot better. We are tired if eating at the Monsanto troughs! Yes, "better food through science."
Posted by Scooter  on  Sun May 16, 2010  at  12:46 PM
Why is it that suddenly most children are autistic? Where did that come from? Maybe it has something to do with receiving more government benefits for the parents? More money for physicians choked by the insurance companies and by Medicare and Medicaid? Doctors have to eat, too!

Watching TV, I never realized how sick I may really be!! OMG!
Posted by Scooter  on  Sun May 16, 2010  at  12:58 PM
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