Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If everyone who visited our website in the next week donated just $15, we would cover all of our operating costs for the year. We can't do it without you. Please donate today. It takes just a couple of minutes to do your part to make sure Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else.

Your Donation: $
Wednesday, January 12, 2000 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Granny D Walks Through U.S. Calling for Campaign...
2000-01-12

The Flu Frenzy: Are Drug Companies Are Spreading Hype On This Season’s Influenza?

download:   Get CD/DVD More Formats
This is viewer supported news

This year’s flu season may seem to many of us as particularly harsh, judging by the media coverage of flooded hospitals, health officials’ warnings and interviews with afflicted individuals. But has it really been any worse than any other year?

A story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal indicates that much of the media coverage on the flu may have been driven in large part by the aggressive promotional efforts of pharmaceutical companies that have launched new flu-fighting products into the market.

Two companies in particular, Roche Holding Inc. and Glaxco Welcome LC, are intensely marketing two flu medicines–Tamiflu and Relenza. Roche has inundated press rooms around the country with press releases about outbreaks of the flu in their area that differ only in their references to local-area doctors and hospitals.

According to the Wall Street Journal article, "in one of several publicity ploys this past weekend, a dozen grandmotherly actresses hired by Roche fanned out across street corners in Manhattan, handing out packets of freeze-dried chicken soup. The company’s message to curious passers-by: Grandma’s chicken soup may be good for symptoms of the flu, but now there is also a new drug, Tamiflu, that can disable the virus that causes the illness."

Guests:


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news