Accepted paper:

Pharmaceuticals in daily lives: biomedical drugs and the marketing behind its effectiveness


Silvana Matassini (University of Southampton)

Paper short abstract:

This paper suggests a causal relationship between the widespread usage of biomedicine and its efficaciousness. Two topics of debate are discussing: Are biomedical drugs the most widely used form of healing? Why do people use biomedical drugs around the globe?

Paper long abstract:

In suggesting a causal relationship between massive usage and effectiveness of biomedical drugs I propose an analysis about the relationship between pharmaceuticals and: biomedicine; marketing and daily realities. Biomedicine is the official provider of national health services. This political power places the discipline in a favorable position (West 2006) and preserves such authority with the collaboration of pharmaceuticals, which through biomedical drugs they channel this power to the population. At one time the most successful pharmaceuticals were those with the brightest scientists searching for cures (Petersen 2008). However, the industry has become a marketing machine to grow profits. In Africa the sleeping sickness is caused by a small parasite that leads to a serious infection in the brain and the meninges. The parasites are carried by the tsetse fly killing thousands a year (Petersen 2008). The company that manufactured the medicine (eflornithine) abandoned it in 1995, seeing no profit in selling it in Africa. Nevertheless, in the United States, another company began selling eflornithine in the form of a cream to minimize female mustaches. The industry introduces profitable medicines for a range of daily activities. And in the present where there is no time to be sick, drugs 'effectiveness' is convenient for many people and for the industry. Medicines can and do save lives, however, the relationship between pharmaceuticals and marketing makes us think that this effectiveness could be overdimensioned in order to target the ones who could afford to buy rather than the ones who truly need it.

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panel P49
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