Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Creating Malady, Unrest and Dis-ease

The predicted marketing wars amongst sleep aid drugs are raising alarms among critics who say ads touting medications for common problems - from heartburn to shyness - too often unnecessarily steer patients to prescription drugs.

"We've already started to see an enormous marketing push for these drugs, with insomnia now labeled the latest 'epidemic' threatening the health of America," said Dr. Jerry Avorn, a Harvard Medical School professor and author of the book "Powerful Medicines."

Avorn says many insomnia patients could find restful sleep by simply avoiding stimulants like caffeine and nicotine or getting enough exercise.

"There's no money to be made advertising those simple lifestyle solutions, but there are billions to be made getting patients onto lifelong use of expensive medications," Avorn said.


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