How Big Pharma sells you drugs you probably don't need: Celebrities who spread 'disease awareness'

Did you ever wonder why new medications so often debut right after awareness of the condition they treat increases? It is no coincidence. The tactic is called unbranded advertising and “disease awareness,” and drug companies spend more on it than they do for regular advertising.

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Here's what Big Pharma doesn't want you to know about the opioid epidemic

The prescription opioid epidemic is not new. It began when Pharma rolled out and aggressively marketed time-released opioids like Oxycontin, driving “pill mills” that distributed as many as 9 million Oxys in a six-month span. What is new is the media finally calling Pharma out on the many cagey ways it got people hooked on opioids and heroin (and continues to do so), how the FDA unabashedly helps Pharma with shocking new approvals, and how people in real pain, especially the poor and African Americans, are some of the hidden victims of the epidemic. When all the reports are in, the Pharma-driven opioid epidemic may be one of the biggest and deadliest cons in recent history.

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How Big Pharma used sexist advertising to hawk drugs to women

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) boasted slick, Mad Men–style ads in which women clearly “knew their place” and stayed in it.

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Ten huge drug ripoffs that Big Pharma is campaigning to continue

When did you become aware of the obscene prices the pharmaceutical industry is charging for drugs? For many it was when a smirking Martin Shkreli, founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals, testified on the Hill in February about his price hike of the antiparasitic drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750, after which he called lawmakers “imbeciles” in a tweeted goodbye.

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Here are 6 ways Big Pharma exploits our worst fears to hook America on drugs

Long before the Internet and direct to consumer advertising, the medical profession tried to reassure people about their health concerns. Sure, fatigue and headaches could be a symptom of a brain tumor; sure, a cough could be a symptom of lung cancer—but most doctors tried to assuage, not sow, fear.  Remember “take two aspirins and call me in the morning”?

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How front groups posing as grassroots campaigns do the dirty work for Agribusiness

How did a California initiative requiring the labeling of genetically engineered food (Prop 37) get defeated in 2012 despite the state's high level of food activism? How did a ban on the sale of large soft drinks in New York City fail the same year despite the link of such drinks to obesity? Welcome to the world of food "front groups" -- fake grassroots groups, sometimes called "Astroturf," created by Big Food to keep health and safety regulations from cutting into sales and profits.

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