Researchers Analyze Drug Campaigns’ Efforts to Sell Disease

Jun 16, 2013

Steven Woloshin
Credit Dartmouth Institute

Dartmouth Institute researchers Doctors Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin have published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzing how the Low Testosterone advertisements so prevalent on television are a perfect template for how drug companies manufacture and sell disease. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley spoke recently with “Low T: How to Sell Disease” co-author Steven Woloshin.

The ads are all over television and the internet.

This ad from isitlowt-dot-com is a perfect example, according to two Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice researchers, of how drug companies are creating “disease awareness” campaigns. “Low T: How to Sell Disease” co-author Steven Woloshin says obstensibly the ads are an effort to teach people and medical professionals about a problem and potential treatment.

The Dartmouth Institute and the authors of “Low T How to Sell Disease” will host an international conference at Dartmouth in September on preventing overdiagnosis.