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Book review

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Book review

buy this book at amazon.caSex, Lies + Pharmaceuticals: How Drug Companies Plan to Profit from Female Sexual Dysfunction by Ray Moynihan & Barbar Mintzes Greystone Books, 2010, 257 pages, $21.95 ISBN: 978-1-55365-508-4 How much do you know about female dysfunction? If you are a woman, you may already know more than some researchers whose studies are often funded by competing pharmaceutical companies in a race to manufacture new conditions of female dysfunction. Yet female sexuality is challenging to qualify by scientific measure—even today. Women may intuitively know better where to draw the fine line between dissatisfaction and dysfunction than those whose aim is to define a new class of conditions for which pink pills are already being manufactured. As I see it, female “subjects” are often more qualified to speak on the matter than the researchers. According to Sex, Lies + Pharmaceuticals, it seems that beyond those women who suffer legitimate sexual conditions, there are many more who will soon be made to question their sexual performance, if drug companies have their way. A large body of evidence, well documented by authors Moynihan and Mintzes, points to some fascinating relationships between medical research and marketing. The manufacturing of pills is being driven more by an abundance of modern chemicals known to be effective than by any existing conditions requiring treatment. Indeed, it appears the pharmaceutical cart is before the medical horse. Science provides pharmaceutical companies with a solution to female sexual dysfunction. All that’s needed now is a problem—a market to which they can sell the pills. Despite some previous awareness of the issue, I was not prepared for the depth of complicity between drug companies and the medical profession, between marketers and their unsuspecting public. Nor did I expect the quality of journalism that Moynihan provides. Sex, Lies + Pharmaceuticals is an outstanding journalistic work that could (and should) be made into a riveting film. This is the work of an insatiable reporter who backs up all statements in a most accountable, professional manner. Reading Moynihan was a thorough pleasure, akin to reading a gripping detective story. To anyone who might question Moynihan’s claims for sounding like hyperbole, I say “read this book.” For anyone with a daughter, sister, mother, or lover who might one day second-guess her own sexuality in the face of persuasive pharmaceutical ads, I say read this book. Today. buy this book at amazon.ca

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