- How A Bone Disease Grew To Fit The Prescription

Marcy Berry thought you would be interested in this story: How A Bone Disease Grew To Fit The Prescription

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Speaking of Merck, NPR had this very interesting program today. The issue was that certain diseases grow in frequency and intensity to fit the new medicines coming on to the market. To me, it sounds consumers need to resist the pill pushing by their doctors (as I did with Fosamax a couple of years ago)


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Thanks, Marcy, for an excellent article. The author mentions at the end
that this is the story of many drugs and diseases, not just Fosamax and
osteopenia. There is a recent book which discusses in detail three
similar cases: cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes. The title of
the book identifies the phenomenon: Prescribing by Numbers: Drugs and
the Definition of Disease (Jeremy A. Greene, Johns Hopkins University
Press, 2007). Diseases-conditions to be medicated for-are now commonly
defined by numbers on a scale, rather than by any actual symptoms or
physical problems. And of course the pressure is to extend the
definition as far as possible, as exemplified by the concept of
osteopenia. Congratulations to you on resisting Fosamax.