Saturday, April 14

Disease Awareness Campaign: do they really target your health?

From time to time there are campaigns about a certain disease and there is a bombardment of information usually emphasizing that the number of people that are not diagnosed is very high.
Do these campaigns care about people's health?
Everything is done in such a way that "yes" has to be the answer. There are charitable organizations, patients, family members and many smiling faces making it all so beautiful and clear. Take a moment to inform yourself about your health or the health of your family members.

This is what the 2005 review of the English Parliament "The Influence of Pharmaceutical Industry" reports:

74. Education for patients is provided in a variety of ways, including disease awareness campaigns, which are discussed in detail in Part 8.
Such campaigns are designed to increase awareness among the general public of particular conditions that may be under-reported  or under-diagnosed and to encourage people to seek treatment. Often, such campaigns are sponsored by a drug company and may bear a company’s logo; they may be also endorsed by a charity or patient organisation and/or supported by a celebrity. p 25 (emphasis added)

248. Witnesses argued that the use of disease awareness campaigns, which in the past have involved conditions including depression, anxiety and obesity, play a major part in the “medicalisation” of our society; in short:, “where disease awareness campaigns end and disease mongering begin is a very indistinct line”.208
Dr Des Spence, representing the group ‘No Free Lunch’, asserted that the bombardment of the general public and patients served,
to undermine our collective sense of well being”.209
[That campaign] led to us being told that a third of people were depressed, that we should screen for it, that we should start using antidepressants early, and we did. If I think back five or ten years ago, we were diagnosing large numbers of people with depression, and we were prescribing many antidepressants. As time has gone on, I have certainly begun to realise that in some ways yes, there are many people who do have depression, but lots of people are just unhappy and that is a part of life. So there is a whole generation of people coming up who almost feel that being unhappy is an abnormal state, which, of course, it is not. 210 p. 70* (emphasis added)
250. According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB), disease awareness campaigns may hide potentially adverse consequences. Those seeking screening, diagnosis or treatment might, for instance, receive a false-positive result that leads to the individual undergoing an unnecessary procedure.
The guidelines state that the risks associated with treatment and the fact that treatments are not always suitable or effective for every individual should be made clear but, we are told, the industry does not always adhere to these recommendations. p. 70 (emphasis added)

251. No witness suggested that all disease awareness campaigns were cynical attempts to increase drug sales, but many doubted that they were simply aimed at improving the lives of those with unmet medical needs. It is not acceptable for such campaigns to be veiled advertising for branded prescription-only medicines.  p 70 (emphasis added)


* There are more data about the Depression Awareness Campaign and you can read it at the review "The Influence of Pharmaceutical Industry". I think that everybody should take a look at this review since health is an issue that affects each one of us.
Information about how medicine is being practiced is very important because in a pill there is not only relief as we often are inclined to believe. Medicines are sold at "drugstores" and many are at the market causing more harm than benefits.
There is another great book available online in .pdf by the criminologist John Braithwaite "Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry".
Or you can read at this link and embed it at you site if you want.
Braithwaite John - Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry

There is a review about this book at EnCognitive and other articles, not very long, that can help you understand what is happening. Remember: It's about your health, your body, mind and soul.
In the corporation era we have to be alert whenever they are around because the cost can be very high.
Inform yourself, search.

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