Some forms of medicalising ordinary life may be better described as disease mongering extending the boundaries of treatable illness to expand markets for new products.
Disease mongering can include turning ordinary processes or ailments into medical problems. For example, around the time that Mercks hair growth drug finasteride (Propecia) was first approved in Australia, leading newspapers featured new information about the emotional trauma associated with hair loss, say the authors.
Disease mongering can also include seeing mild symptoms as serious, and treating personal problems as medical ones: A senior Roche official tells the authors that company promotion exaggerated the level of social phobia in Australia.
Risks are increasingly portrayed as diseases, according to the authors, citing the example of corporate backed promotional activities for osteoporosis which attempt to persuade millions of healthy women worldwide that they are sick.
Although these observations of disease mongering are selective and preliminary, the authors believe that more could be done to expose and reduce misleading wonder drug stories in the media, which help to facilitate so much disease mongering. They