Shannon Brownlee in the Post on drug companies inventing new diseases: It turns out that much of what we — and our doctors — think we know about many health problems has been shaped by drugmakers and their marketers. … Osteoporosis and osteopenia aren’t really diseases. Before the 1990s, doctors decided that you had osteoporosis if you were elderly and you broke a bone. When the pharmaceutical company Merck came up with its anti-bone-loss durg Fosamax, it wanted a broader market than just elderly fracture patients. The solution? The company helped fund a panel of medical experts to create diagnostic criteria for osteoporosis so that a diagnosis could be made before the patient actually broke a bone.
See Added to post.
Karen, the site you link to, dsib.org, is a marketing tool for the dietary supplement industry! It is simply a competitor to the "Pharma industry" offering their own alternative drugs and treatments. I would not assume that it is science based simply because it has a scientific advisory board. See Robin's recent comment on the pointlessness of such boards before you get impressed by this.
what do you folks think of the Szasz/Caplan take on "mental illness"?
If we knew what they were, they'd be a part of neurology, not psychiatry. We've made great progress in negative hypotheses - we know a lot of things that they aren't, but have little idea of what they are. And the most commonly-given explanation for them? Meaningless handwaving. It's just "imbalance of the humours" with a modern term substituted.
As a woman who HAS been diagnosed with osteoporosis, this debate hits right at home. The point is that this type of publicity (the dangers of osteoporosis, etc.) DOES drive fear into our hearts on an emotional level and it's hard to separate what's real from what is designed just to scare us.
I've been going to this site for HEALTH information because it IS science based and not Pharma industry driven. I think we need to seek really objective sources of information to balance the hype.
What do you think??
Islam has taken over the UN's Human Rights CouncilThinking about prayer. Dr. BobDrug companies invent new diseases? Sometimes, maybe. Good example.The Fed caused the credit crunch. MankiwWriting mastery eludes NYC schoolkidsMercedes Marxists: The Clintons
Speaking of invented diseases, what do you folks think of the Szasz/Caplan take on "mental illness"?
I would have liked this post more with some commentary, eg, "This is a nice example of how to manipulate people via biases (obedience to authority, binary essentialism)." I think people are too confident in their expectations of communication, in their expectation that others will fill in the blanks the same way.
Hmmm.... Ms Brownlee really conflates two points here.A) A Semantic debate about the nature of REAL disease as opposed to INVENTED disease, in which she seems to avoid acknowledging that health and sickness are intrinsically normative categories and as such, their definitions will invariably shift over time.
B) Her belief that medical interventions in conditions that do not pose sufficient health risks to warrant it are becoming increasingly common and are counterproductive,
What is really missing in her analysis, is an acknowledgment that the trade-offs involved in choosing to seek treatment in any given instance have as much do to with the priorities, values and risk tolerance ofthe patient as with any artifically binary distinction between sickness and wellness.
New medicines provide more patient choice and that is surely a good thing.