As we know, pharmaceutical companies use reward systems and manipulation to control much of the medical industry. Although this plays a role in the “looping effect”, surprisingly it does not have the negative impact on big pharmaceutical companies one would assume. Paradoxically, we “require” more medication, even though we are aware of their tactics.
Ethics surrounding the medical industry lags behind the ever expanding pharmaceutical market and it is becoming ever more “difficult to distinguish education from advertising” (Fishman, 196), but I believe this distinction must be made. We must separate medicine from commerce where possible. The creation of disease concepts based around drugs, as exemplified by Jennifer Fishman in her discussion of Female Sexual Dysfunction, is creating a society that continually strives for health but appears to become increasingly more unhealthy.
New disease concepts are able to categorize people into a wider range of ‘disorders’. This in turn makes people assume they are ill or unhealthy, creating a circularity because the newly diagnosed ‘unhealthy’ consumer continues, through the use of drugs, to become “healthy”. Furthermore, with the lack of ethical restraint within the pharmaceutical industry, individuals who were healthy or had a minor illness, now have larger issues because of the side effects created from drugs. It appears that pharmaceutical companies are creating a society in which the healthy are actually becoming more ill in their pursuit of health! The increasing commodification of drugs to create new “disorders” is highly problematic and new ethics must be implemented to help address this growing problem.
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