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Profs and Pints DC presents: “How Drug Makers Make Us Sick,” on pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to promote invented diagnoses to sell us products we don’t need, with Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, professor of pharmacology and physiology and family medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and director of PharmedOut, a research and education project that opposes unethical marketing practices in the industry.
Does anyone you know take prescription medicine for gastroesophageal reflux disease, hypoactive sexual desire disorder, osteopenia, mild cognitive impairment, or prolonged grief disorder? Here’s a tough pill to swallow: They might be better off without it.
Shockingly large numbers of people unnecessarily take medicines or use medical devices due to industry manipulation of the medical field. They either are being treated for conditions that were invented whole cloth or are told they have conditions that afflict far fewer people than widely believed.
Join Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, a leading critic of unethical and irrational prescribing practices, as she discusses how overprescription became so rampant and what we can do to safeguard ourselves against it.
She’ll discuss how pharmaceutical companies control medical information to an alarming extent. This enables them to turn isolated symptoms and normal human variability into diseases—particularly in the psychiatric area—and lets them expand the definitions of real conditions, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, to make more people eligible for drug treatment.
She’ll also talk about how pharma uses consumer advocacy groups and physician influencers (known as “key opinion leaders”) to persuade physicians, legislators, regulators, and the media that invented or expanded conditions are real.
You’ll learn how various diagnoses were influenced by pharma and result in unnecessary treatment for many people. Hearing from Dr. Fugh-Berman, codirector of Georgetown University’s masters program in health and the public interest, will leave you better-equipped to look out for your own health. The speaker’s proceeds from this talk will go to PharmedOut. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)