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Disease Mongering: Real or Fantasy?

(Survey started 21 January 2007; halted 11 February 2007; re-opened 20 February 2013. N=31 respondents as of 20 February 2013)

Take the survey here.

Disease MongeringDisease mongering is a term that was coined by the late journalist Lynn Payer to describe what she saw as the confluence of interests by some doctors, drug companies, patient advocacy groups and media in exaggerating the severity of illness and the ability of drugs to "cure" them. Today's definition includes the accusation that, for example, cardio metabolic syndrome is really a cluster of risk factors for patients with diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

This survey collects comments regarding issues relating to disease mongering. Respondents were asked their opinions regarding specific conditions that have often been characterized as "invented" by the drug industry and their opinions of issued raised by the the authors of a this PLoS report. Click here to take the survey and see the latest results when you finish.

See Summary of Results and Resources & Further Reading below...

Survey Results:

Partial results are summarized in charts below. You can view a more detailed, complete and up-to-date online Summary of Responses plus view comments from respondents after taking the survey yourself: here.

Do These Medical Conditions Warrant Treatment by Drugs?
Respondents were asked "Considering that all drugs have side effects, how would you characterize the following conditions as regards the use of drugs for treatment?" Responses:

  • "A very serious medical condition, afflicting tens of millions, that is best treated with drugs"
  • "A real medical condition that could be mitigated by lifestyle changes as well as by drugs"
  • "A simple lifestyle issue that should not be treated with drugs"
  • "Don't know or No opinion"
Results to date are shown below. What's your view? Take the survey and tell us (you can view up-to-date survey results plus comments after taking the survey here).

Real Medical Conditions?

Unmet Need vs. Profits
Respondents were asked "In your opinion, how important is each of the following factors in influencing pharmaceutical companies about which drugs to develop and bring to market?" Responses:

  • Extremely Important
  • Somewhat Important
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat Unimportant
Results to date are shown below. What's your view? Take the survey and tell us (you can view up-to-date survey results plus comments after taking the survey here).

Unmet Need vs. Profits

Why?
Respondents were asked the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with several statements regarding reasons why pharma may be engaging in "disease mongering" and its impact on the reputation of the drug industry. Responses:

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree Somewhat
  • Neither Agree Nor Disagree
  • Disagree Somewhat
  • Strongly Disagree
Results to date are shown below. What's your view? Take the survey and tell us (you can view up-to-date survey results plus comments after taking the survey here).

Why?

Resources & Further Reading:

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