8_Medicalization, Markets, and Consumers - Conrad and Leiter

8_Medicalization, Markets, and Consumers - Conrad and...

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JOURNAL OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR "post-Prozac" era. Since the FDA approved the use of Paxil for SAD in 1999 and for GAD in 2001, GlaxoSmithKline has spent millions of dollars to raise the public visibility of SAD and GAD, by sponsoring well-choreographed dis- ease awareness campaigns. The pharmaceuti- cal company's savvy approach to marketing SAD and GAD, which relied upon a mixture of "expert" and patient voices, simultaneously gave the conditions diagnostic validity and cre- ated the perception that it could happen to any- one (Koemer 2002). Soon after the FDA approved the use of Paxil for SAD, Cohn and Wolfe (a public relations firm that was work- ing for what was then SmithKline) began putting up posters at bus stops with the slogan, "Imagine Being Allergic to People." Later in 1999, a series of ads featured "Paxil's efficacy in helping SAD sufferers brave dinner parties and public speaking" (Koerner 2002:61). Barry Brand, Paxil's product director, said, "Every marketer's dream is to find an uniden- tified or unknown market and develop it. That's what we were able to do with social anx-
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