A conversation on health

Campbell administration bureaucrats will be getting some drug policy advice from what some might consider a surprising quarter. The health ministry has invited well-known University of Victoria researcher Alan Cassels to talk to civil servants about his new book Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning us all into Patients. In it, he "unmasks the latest marketing techniques from the drug industry's multi-layered campaigns" with co-author Ray Moynihan, an Australian journalist. His presentation will be moderated by PharmaCare executive director Suzanne Solven. Mr. Cassels's resume includes a master's degree in public administration and ten plus years of research experience evaluating the impact of potential drug benefits on consumers. The following is a complete copy of the notice for that lecture.

The Strategic Policy and Research Branch
invites you to:

Selling Sickness: How the World's
Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies
are Turning us all into Patients

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2006
Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Location: Auditoria A/B
Ministry of Health Building
1515 Blanshard Street, Victoria

Dr. Alan Cassels
Director, Drug Policy Futures, University of Victoria

Suzanne Solven
Executive Director, PharmaCare

Today, marketing strategies of the world's biggest drug companies aggressively target both the healthy and the well. The ups and downs of daily life have become mental disorders, common complaints are transformed into frightening conditions, and more and more ordinary people are turned into patients.

Published in 2005 and now available in 12 languages around the world, Selling Sickness, by Australian journalist Ray Moynihan and Victoria drug policy researcher Alan Cassels, unmasks the latest marketing techniques from the drug industry's multi-layered campaigns. Technique-by-technique, condition-by-condition, a pattern emerges, a for mula for changing the way we think about illness in order to expand markets for drugs.

Refreshments will be served. Please bring your own mug/cup.
For more information, please call Elizabeth Jonkel, Policy Rounds Coordinator


Nice to see that our Health Ministry bureaucrats are helping Mr Cassels sell copies of his book while on the taxpayers dime.

Maybe they could find some time in their busy schedule to, I dunno, run the Health Ministry?

I think this is exactly the type of information that we all need to hear. The current drugs is the answer to everything camp is not exactly producing healthy campers, but it is selling more drugs for more money at our expense.

Ernie~ take a pill,man. If he can help BC save 0.001 percent of the PharmaCare budget and still get the public the medication we need - we should buy out all remaining stock of his book.

How does this one sided forum in anyway advance the agenda of the health of british columbians? There is nothing wrong with people having different views, it just seems wrong for an "impartial"public servant to be involved during the middle of the work day.

North Americans consume the highest proportion per capita of pharmaceutical drugs ,and yet we are the unhealthiest as compared to Europeans .
Do you think there is a connection ?

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