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Big Pharma's Latest Shady Ploy to Sell Depression Drugs That People May Not Need

The drug industry is coming up with ever more clever ways to pump Americans full of drugs they may not need -- and that may not even work.

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To prevent such goring of marketshare, the article (whose content was “selected and controlled by WebMD’s editorial staff and is funded by Lilly USA,” an original WebMD financial partner according to the Washington Post) counsels worry about physical symptoms. “Don’t assume they’ll go away on their own.” Symptoms may “need additional treatment” and “some antidepressants, such as Cymbalta and Effexor, may help with chronic pain, too.”

Before direct-to-consumer advertising, the health care system was devoted to preventing over-treatment and assuring patients they were probably okay. Who remembers “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning”?  Now patients are assured they probably  aren’t okay but probably have a progressive disease. Luckily their disease can be treated with progressive prescriptions from pharma.

 

Martha Rosenberg frequently writes about the impact of the pharmaceutical, food and gun industries on public health. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and other outlets.

 
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