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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 6901

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: news

Cottle M.
Selling shyness: how doctors and drug companies created the “social phobia” epidemic
New Republic 1999 Aug 2


Abstract:

At the same time that SmithKline Beecham received approval to market its antidepressant drug Paxil as a treatment for social phobia, a coalition of nonprofit groups, with financial support from SmithKline, launched a public awareness campaign about the condition under the slogan “Allergic to People.” This campaign is just one of a host of Anxiety Disorder Association of America (ADAA) projects that are funded by the pharmaceutical industry. One observer notes that drug companies don’t just market drugs they also maket views of illnesses. An example is how Merck in the 1960s bought and distributed 50000 copies of a book on recognizing and treating depression.

Keywords:
*feature story/United States/Anxiety Disorder Association of America/social phobia/SmithKline Beecham/Merck/conflict of interest/corporate funding/depression/Merck/Paxil/patient groups/PROMOTION BY THIRD PARTIES: PATIENT ORGANIZATIONS/SPONSORSHIP: PATIENT AND CONSUMER ORGANIZATIONS

 

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...to influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.