Underhand Tactics: Disease Branding

A film by Laurent Richard and Wandrille Lanos
First broadcast April 27, 2012 on France 2

To sell a cure, first you need to sell the disease. According to some research, pharmaceutical companies are medicalising normal conditions, like the menopause, promoting non-existent diseases, and transforming mild problems into serious conditions that need treatment. Twenty years ago, few people worried about their cholesterol level. Today, thanks to the pharmaceutical companies, high cholesterol levels are recognized as a major health problem and two of the best-selling drugs are statin reducers. Disease branding can destigmatize shameful problems, transforming incontinence into an ‘overactive bladder’, and encouraging people to seek treatment. But it can also put healthy people at risk, leading them to take medicines with potentially dangerous side effects.



PREVIOUS BROADCASTS INCLUDE: FRANCE 2, FMG, AYAT MEDIA (Turkey), ORF III (Austria), SIC (Portugal), RTBF (Belgium), PRESS TV (Iran), LAYEN (Turkey), SPIEGEL (Germany) AND DR (Denmark)