1st Edition

Inventing Disease and Pushing Pills
Pharmaceutical Companies and the Medicalisation of Normal Life

ISBN 9780415390712
Published July 24, 2006 by Routledge
172 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

This is a highly accessible and reassuring account of how the pharmaceutical industry is redefining health, making it a state that is almost impossible to achieve. Many normal life processes – states as natural as birth, ageing, sexuality, unhappiness and death – are systematically being reinterpreted as pathological so creating new markets for their treatments. In this enlightening book, Jörg Blech reveals:

  • how the invention of diseases by pharmaceutical companies is turning us all into patients, and how we can protect ourselves against this
  • how the medical profession has been bullied and co-opted into endorsing profitable cures for people who aren't ill
  • fears about how pharmaceutical companies create markets by playing on the general public's concern with their health.

A self-help book in the truest sense, Inventing Disease and Pushing Pills reassures us about our own health. It is essential reading for doctors, nurses and patients alike.

Table of Contents

Preface  1. Limitless Healing  2. Myths of Medicine  3. A Disease called Diagnosis  4. The Risk Factor Merry-go-Round  5. Insanity as the Norm  6. Psycho Pill with Break-Time Snack  7. The Femininity Syndrome  8. Old Men, New Afflictions  9. Whenever You Want It  10. Destiny in our Genes  11. Healthy Beyond Belief.  Twelve Questions to Diagnose.  Invented Diseases and Dubious Treatments.  Notes.  Internet Addresses. Acknowledgments

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Jorg Blech studied biology and biochemistry at the University of Cologne, Germany and the University of Sussex, UK.  He was then trained as a journalist and was awarded internships in Paris, Washington DC and Bangkok.  He is the science correspondent for the magazine Der Spiegel and lives with his family in Arlington, Massachusetts.


'Inventing Disease and Pushing Pills is a timely and robust challenge to the medicalisation of life and the transformation of health into disease.' - Michael Fitzpatrick, Barton House Health Centre