Do You Have A Chronic Autoimmune Disease? Big Pharma Hopes So

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Illustration: Martha Rosenberg

The profit party is over for Big Pharma except for one category–drugs for autoimmune diseases. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and plaque psoriasis are rare in the adult population but a spate of new ads and self-diagnosing “quizzes” suggest they are Big Pharma’s next focus.

Whenever a disease is given initials–rheumatoid arthritis is now “RA,” irritable bowel syndrome is “IBS” and ankylosing spondylitis is now “AS”– watch for it to become a disease du jour, warn Pharma critics, pointing to the marketing of “ED,” “RLS,” “ADHD” and “GERD.” This month, an aggressive broadcast ad campaign broke to scare people into questioning whether their back pain is actually the chronic autoimmune condition ankylosing spondylitis. When the medication is ready, the disease will appear. READ FULL ARTICLE >>

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