Sunday, May 22, 2016

"New and expanded medical definitions create more patients — and a lucrative market for drug firms"

From JSOnline:

"From binge-eating disorder to overactive bladder, new definitions or lowered thresholds mean millions more people — overnight — fit the criteria of having treatable disorders"

"Know someone who shouts and pounds on the steering wheel when cut off in traffic?

"They might be one of 16 million Americans said to suffer from 'intermittent explosive disorder.'

"Can you polish off a box of cookies while watching your favorite TV show?

"Could be a sign of 'binge-eating disorder,; said to afflict 7 million Americans.

  "Another 14 million men are said to have clinically low testosterone, 9 million women are said to suffer from low sexual desire, and tens of millions more are said to have bladders that are too active or blood sugar that is a little too high. That blood sugar level used to be considered normal. Now it makes you a candidate for treatment with expensive medication.

 "None of these conditions was considered part of mainstream medicine just 20 years ago. But thanks to new definitions or lowered thresholds, millions more people — overnight — fit the criteria of having treatable disorders.

 "Many independent doctors and researchers are skeptical, saying the new conditions are the product of medical groups that get pharmaceutical industry funding, researchers looking to advance their careers and drug companies aiming to broaden the market for expensive new products.

 "On top of that, the drugs sold to treat these newly defined — and not life-threatening — conditions often carry serious health risks, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation has found.

 "An examination of eight common new conditions found the changes all went in the same direction — toward expanding the number of people who could be treated with expensive drugs."

Read more:

"Intermittent explosive disorder: Mental condition or bad behavior?" That's me!

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