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Masterclass with Ray Moynihan: Disease-mongering and public health, Mahón, Spain, 20-24 Sep 2010

The course will aim to deepen students’ understanding of the public health problem of disease-mongering: the process of widening the boundaries of illness in order to expand markets for treatments.


The course will examine the different forms of disease-mongering, by
using several case studies involving high-profile medical con-
ditions. It will also employ humour, and students will create
and promote their own new disease. Finally it will analyze the
public-health implications of disease-mongering and possible
policy-responses to the problem, from a range of perspectives.
The course will also look at the evidence about the financial
relationships between health professionals and the pharma-
ceutical industry which are central to this problem, and reveal
how those relationships are being renegotiated worldwide.
Students would include health professionals from the aca-
demic, clinical and policy sector, influential journalists re-
porting on healthcare, and representatives from consumer ad-
vocacy groups engaged with public health.

The course will combine elements of didactic lecturing, with
interactive group-based learning as well. The didactic element
will be largely delivered by Ray Moynihan, though may include
other guest lecturers. Course-materials will include written ar-
ticles and brief video material, in English and Spanish.

About Ray Moynihan:
A lecturer, journalist, documentary-maker and author, Ray
Moynihan is an internationally recognized authority on the
public health problem of disease-mongering. He has written
many influential articles on disease-mongering in the British
Medical Journal and PLoS Medicine, as well as producing
several books and films investigating the topic. His book
Selling Sickness has been translated into a dozen languages
including Spanish. His work has inspired much media cov-
erage and public debate all over the world.
Ray has given many lectures internationally, and been part
of the faculty at the prestigious Evidence-Based Health Care
workshop/summer school in Colorado, USA, for several
years. He is very excited by the opportunity to develop and
deliver a short course on disease-mongering at the Menorca
School of Public Health.

For more information see: Course brochure


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What these howls of outrage and hurt amount to is that the medical profession is distressed to find its high opinion of itself not shared by writers of [prescription] drug advertising. It would be a great step forward if doctors stopped bemoaning this attack on their professional maturity and began recognizing how thoroughly justified it is.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963