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Five Minute Articles For Your Consideration

Marketing the Disease, Selling the Medication

Marketing the Disease, Selling the Medication

The big business of drug revenue is constantly being fed by new and inventive ways of creating markets for drugs to affect.  This inventive marketing strategy was developed by SmithKline (today known as GlaxoSmithKline), a British pharmaceutical company, to market their depression drug Paxil in 1991.  It has since been adopted by many other pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer in marketing Viagra, and Merck in marketing Zostavax, their drug for Shingles.  It’s a very effective strategy, contributing to over 4 billion total prescriptions being written in 2012 and drug spending topping $320 billion. Continue Reading

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A Call to Cultural Leadership

Last year there were approximately 12,000 gun related homicides in the United States.  By now we’ve heard so many stories of senseless drive by shootings, office shootings, and domestic violence that we’ve become numb to their reports.  The grim ones hold our attention and then slowly fade away.  Aurora and Sandy Hook were different.  They held our attention longer and reminded us that Columbine wasn’t an isolated incident.  Continue Reading

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Self Esteem: Losing it, Finding it, and Keeping it

Self esteem does not exist in the external world; it is purely a construct of the mind.  We cannot see self esteem, only evidence of it.  It is a completely subjective and internal experience.  In nature you do not see animals with self esteem issues.  If a dog doesn’t catch a ball there is no self-recrimination.  That judgment is reserved solely for humans.  A dog doesn’t tell itself that it is a bad fetcher.  Dogs just live to fetch another day.  We, on the other hand, come up with all sorts of stories about how good or bad we are, all of which affect our self esteem. Continue Reading

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Is it a Symptom or a Syndrome? Psychology’s Struggle for Legitimacy

Creating an effective and accountable standard of measurements to determine the efficacy of psychotherapy is a perplexing task made even more confusing by the DSM itself.  The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the sourcebook of diagnostic criteria for mental health professionals and the basis of all insurance reimbursement.  The biggest problem with the DSM is that you can’t define a mental disorder using the manual. Continue Reading

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Placebo! Much Ado About Nothing

Latin for “I shall please,” the Placebo Effect was first scientifically documented in 1955 by Dr. Henry Beecher who found that 30% of the soldiers in World War II who were unwittingly given saline solution for pain, instead of morphine, reported an analgesic effect.  That is, they got something from nothing.  It’s the Seinfeld of the medical world, a show about nothing that offers something very significant to everyone who watches it.  Continue Reading

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