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DISEASE MONGERING SERIES No 1.

           Edited by Dr Ignatius O. Onah.

     Monday Morning on the Sikamoretree.

        On Monday, 18 February 2019.

   Prologue:

Some Definitions.

 I. "DISEASE MONGERING ..... the CREATION of a new disease or condition, and the PROMOTION of drugs to treat it" Dr Justin Smith,MD.

ii. Disease mongering ... “trying to convince essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill" - Ms Lynn Payer.

           What really is Disease Mongering?

Wikipedia defines "Disease mongering as a term for the practice of widening the diagnostic boundaries of illnesses and aggressively promoting their public awareness in order to expand the markets for treatment. Among the entities benefiting from selling and delivering treatments are pharmaceutical companies, physicians, alternative practitioners and other professional or consumer organizations. . ."

         Some details on Disease mongering.

 We take these excerpts from the book, "Creating Disease: Big Pharma and Disease Mongering", written by Dr. Larry Dossey,MD.

"...You may think there is enough disease in the world already, and that no one would want to add to the diseases that we humans must deal with. But there is a powerful industry in our society that is working overtime to invent illnesses and to convince us we are suffering from them....This effort is known as “disease mongering,” a term introduced by health-science writer Lynn Payer in her 1992 book Disease-Mongers: How Doctors, Drug Companies, and Insurers Are Making You Feel Sick"

      Disease Mongering according to Payer.

  Lyn Payer defined disease mongering as “trying to convince essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill.”

  She identified several disease-mongering tactics. Among them:

• Taking a normal function and implying that there’s something wrong with it and that it should be treated

• Describing suffering that isn’t necessarily there

• Defining as large a proportion of the population as possible as suffering from the “disease”

• Defining a condition as a deficiency disease or as a disease of hormonal imbalance

• Recruiting doctors to spin the message

• Using statistics selectively to exaggerate the benefits of treatment

• Promoting the treatment as risk free

• Taking a common symptom that could mean anything and making it sound as if it is a sign of a serious disease.

        The corporate construction of Disease.

  Drs Ray Moynihan, Iona Heath and David Henry writing in the British Medical Journal(BMJ) defined this "crime" as “the corporate construction of disease"

 They continue, "... There’s a lot of money to be made from telling healthy people they’re sick, ... Pharmaceutical companies are actively involved in sponsoring the definition of diseases and promoting them to both prescribers and consumers....

.... The trick was to inflate a common, everyday condition to the level of pathology, which, if not attended to, could blight one’s prospects for personal happiness and success. "

       Diseases for Sale! How many?

  According to the Dr. Larry Dossey,MD.,already mentioned above,: ... among these “illnesses” are erectile dysfunction, female sexual dysfunction, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), restless legs syndrome, osteoporosis, social shyness (also called social anxiety disorder and social phobia), irritable bowel syndrome and balding. ...Healthcare watchdogs are now blowing the whistle on the major pharmaceutical companies who are engaged in this activity, and they have identified several “illnesses” as current examples of disease mongering. They are not saying these conditions don’t exist — they are indeed problematic for some people — but that THEIR INCIDENCE AND RELEVANCE IS WILDLY EXAGGERATED in the pursuit of corporate profits.".

  Dr Dossey's Conclusion : "...our health is determined mainly not by the pills we choose to swallow, but how we choose to live our lives — the ways we eat, exercise, work, play, love and relate to others.

  Realizing that, we can outsmart the efforts of the disease mongerers to PATHOLOGISE every moment of our existence"~ Dr Larry Dossey, MD.

   Cholesterol " Disease". Created for Cash!!

  Writing In a paper entitled, "Does the pharmaceutical industry manufacture diseases as well as drugs?" Dr Howard Wolinsky tells us thus: "... The situation is reminiscent of the attitude towards cholesterol. Twenty years ago, physicians were not concerned about the effects it might have on heart disease. Today, thanks to efforts by pharmaceutical companies, high cholesterol levels are now recognized as a major health problem. In fact, IMS Health, a global healthcare information company, reports that the two best-selling drugs in 2004 were statins: Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) from Pfizer (New York, NY, USA)—valued at US$10.6 billion with growth of 13.9% over the previous year—and Zocor® (simvastatin) from Merck (Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA).

   A pharmaceutical Executive once noted: “The emergence of cholesterol reduction as a market was a major event for pharma...'

  Also zeroing in on the " mongering" of cholesterol and cholesterol drugs is Dr Justin Smith.

   Hear him".DISEASE MONGERING can involve the CREATION of a new disease or condition and the PROMOTION of drugs to treat it....Millions of people around the world are taking cholesterol drugs and a CHOLESTEROL - LOWERING industry has evolved that generates around US$29 billion each year. This is despite the fact that most people do not need to lower their cholesterol and there is strong evidence to show that lowering cholesterol actually reduces life expectancy....This is the best (or worst!) example of disease mongering of all times..." -- Dr Justin Smith, in his earth - shaking book, " 29 Billion Dollars Reason to Tell Lies About Cholesterol".

      Creating Diseases. Unholy Alliance.

  In his book, " Selling Disease: How Drug Companies are Turning Us All into Patients",

Australian journalist, Ray Moynihan, who was a one - time visiting editor at the British Medical Journal(BMJ), describes the process as 'corporate-sponsored drug creation' involving physicians and patient groups.

 He continues: “There are informal alliances of doctors, drug companies and increasingly patient groups that help to widen the boundaries of illness in order to widen markets for those selling treatments. Often this process is driven by the medical profession, but it's driven with fuel provided by the drug companies,... Nevertheless, drug companies have an important role in the process. The meetings where these disorders are defined and expanded are all drug-company funded,... Drug company activity lubricates this process, but it's often not corporate executives in the driving seat. Often it's the so-called thought leaders at the top of the tree in their profession and in their specialities.”

            Giving a Dog a Bad Name!

."...Critics maintain that the routine human condition—unhappiness, bone thinning, stomach aches and boredom—is increasingly being re-defined as disease: depression in its milder forms, osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome and attention deficit disorder. Likewise, factors, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, are declared diseases IN THEIR OWN RIGHT —hyper-cholesterolaemia and hypertension — with falling thresholds resulting in MORE PEOPLE CONSIDERED TO BE SICK...."

  What a pity!

Epilogue.

 “If you want to stir up worry in the public, and you've got the advertising dollars to do it, you can turn almost anything into a disease" - Dr Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, last December told the popular American TV programme 60 Minutes.

  Future Articles on "Disease mongering" series: Prostate " disease", Viral Hepatitis!, Viral Uterine Cancer, HIV Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments, !!, Enteric Staph "infections", Bird Flu " disease", Monkey Pox, Premature ejaculation "disorder", low Libido " diseases", most Psychiatric "disorders", Cholesterol " Disease", Vaccination "Empire", Menopause " Disease", etc.

   

   About Dr Onah.

 Dr(Pharm.) IGNATIUS O. ONAH,68, is a Pharmacist , Nutritionist, and Naturopathic Doctor.

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