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Review
. 2008 Nov;38(11):858-61.
doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2008.01814.x.

Disease Mongering: Expanding the Boundaries of Treatable Disease

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Review

Disease Mongering: Expanding the Boundaries of Treatable Disease

E Doran et al. Intern Med J. .

Abstract

Traditionally, the promotional activities of medical industries have been product specific. In recent years, however, there have been examples where companies have worked through partnerships, which have included clinicians, to expand the boundaries of treatable disorders. The main motivation appears to be to increase sales of commercial products. The term 'disease mongering' has been applied to these activities. Whereas some disease awareness programmes may bring benefits in the form of improved recognition and management of disorders, the presence of strong commercial interests probably distorts the traditional processes by which treatable diseases have been defined. This can result in individual patients being exposed to potential harms, with little expectation of benefit and will place an unwarranted burden on the publicly funded health-care system. None of this can happen without the collaboration of the medical profession that needs to be aware of the risks of becoming involved in commercially supported 'consensus' groups that are reviewing the definition and management of diseases.

Comment in

  • Disease mongering: the overlooked legs.
    Pridmore S, Dale J. Pridmore S, et al. Intern Med J. 2009 May;39(5):343-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2009.01929.x. Epub 2009 Apr 8. Intern Med J. 2009. PMID: 19382985 No abstract available.
  • 'Disease mongering' and the evidence.
    O'Rourke MF. O'Rourke MF. Intern Med J. 2009 May;39(5):344-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2009.01927.x. Epub 2009 Apr 8. Intern Med J. 2009. PMID: 19382986 No abstract available.

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