How Big Pharma Markets to and Profits from a ‘Can’t-Pay-Attention Nation’

‘What came first: the disorder, the cure, or the marketing campaign to sell both?

“You’re talking about a product that’s having a major impact on brain chemistry. Parents are very susceptible to this type of stuff.” –Roger Griggs, pharma exec who now objects to ad campaigns

In the case of medicating a generation of children who were said to be “unusually hyperactive,” the answer to that question is addressed by an in-depth investigation by the New York Times on Monday showing that the meteoric rise of diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (A.D.H.D.)—a trend that spawned a pharmaceutical gold rush over the last twenty years—was, in fact, fueled by an industry-led marketing campaign that targeted struggling children, worried parents, and an army of doctors willing to diagnose and prescribe.

And what’s worse? The deep-pocketed, pill-pushers are now looking to expand.’


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