Prozac & Sarafe- Identical but different


Nathan Greenslit’s “Depression and Consumption: Psychopharmaceuticals, Branding, and New Identity Practices” examines a case where two chemically identical pharmaceutical drugs are branded and marketed as different, serving different purposes.  Fluoxetine Hydrochloride, under the brand name Prozac is marketed as an antidepressant, while the very same drug is marketed as a treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).  Both are developed, manufactured, and marketed by the Eli Lilly drug company.  Although these drugs are chemically identical, they have different social histories and identities.  ‘Sarafem’ is associated strictly with “the drug that treats PMDD, and ‘Prozac’ is associated with the distinct description “the drug that treats depression’.  Greenslit posits that the language that is formed in association to these drugs intentionally associates them to a disease, rather than each other, even though they are identical, so that consumers remain unaware that they are taking a drug that is also used for a different medical condition.  With this strategy, pharmaceutical companies can independently profit from two identical drugs.

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One Response to Prozac & Sarafe- Identical but different

  1. Pingback: Prozac Time | Life On My Gay Island

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