Marketing anxiety

worry_image.jpgI recently went to a talk by Professor Nikolas Rose where he noted that for ¬£8,000 you can buy a report entitled ‘Anxiety Disorders: More Than Just a Comorbidity‘ from an online business intelligence company.

The report will apparently allow you to “assess the size of the drug-treated population”, “target physicians more effectively” and “identify commercial opportunities”.

An excerpt:

Anxiety disorders are considered the most prevalent of psychiatric disorders. However, poor diagnosis rates and treatment outcomes mean that there is still considerable scope for manufacturers to move into the anxiety market.

Yes, you read that right, it genuinely uses the phrase “anxiety market”.

It even promotes investment in ‘awareness campaigns’ (i.e. astroturfing) as a way of ‘maximising revenues’ in the drugs market.

Psychiatric drugs are a useful option for treating mental distress, although many professionals consider them over-used and over-promoted, particularly in light of the fact that the treatment with the longest duration of effect for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioural therapy rather than medication (see pdf of NICE guidelines).

Unfortunately, the business intelligence report mentioned above reflects exactly the sort of approach to healthcare that makes people cynical of the mental health system.

Link to NICE review on treatment of anxiety disorders.
Link to report summary ‘Anxiety Disorders: More Than Just a Comorbidity’.

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