Big Bucks,Big Pharma

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Views: 660

Words: 3211

Pages: 13

Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 11/22/2012 01:25 PM

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“Using excerpts from drug company advertisements as well as news reports on the pharmaceutical industry, the documentary raises important questions and presents options for consumer empowerment... If the United States is ever going to upgrade its healthcare system for all people, it will happen only if an informed public mandates change. Big Bucks, Big Pharma is a bitter pill to swallow but the prognosis is hopeful.”

—Thomas P. Healy | The Bloomington Alternative

Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created, for capital gain. Focusing on the industry’s marketing practices, media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes and normalizes the use of prescription medication, and how it works in tandem with promotion to doctors. Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being.


Marcia Angell, M.D. (Dept. of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Former Editor, New England Journal of Medicine), Bob Goodman, M.D. (Columbia University Medical Center; Founder, No Free Lunch), Gene Carbona (Former Merck Sales Representative; Current Executive Director of Sales, The Medical Letter), Katharine Greider (Journalist; Author, The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers), Elizabeth Preston, Ph.D. (Dept. of Communication, Westfield State College), and Larry Sasich, Pharm.D. (Public Citizen Health Research Group).


Introduction | Branding Drugs | Swimming in Pills | Disease Mongering No Free Lunch | A Healthier Prescription