Selling Sickness

There is an staunch connection between medical science, the pharmaceutical industry and the structures of modern society. Drug manufacturers today fund aggressive marketing campaigns designed to create public awareness of “previously unknown diseases,” or conditions known by less dramatic names in order to sell pharmaceutical drugs and other psychotropic interventions. Shyness is thus marketed as “Social Anxiety Disorder,” worry becomes “Generalised Anxiety,” and premenstrual tension as “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder” which must be treated by drugs made popular through advertising, such as Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac. These drugs have become household names, not to mention a 20 billion dollar a year racket. How? Why?