Naked Medicine

Let's Face It: Medicine is Business

How marketers over-leverage Neuro-Bunk to sell you stuff.

I worked in the cancer field and around this time (ASCO conference) I’d start seeing attention grabbing headlines like, “ginger kills cancer cells!” and then I start seeing ginger candies popping out all over supermarkets — not just in Asian markets where I used to find them, but everywhere. This is one of those “cancer bunks” where the preclinical researcher observed that high doses of an ingredient in ginger kills cancer cells on a petri dish. And suddenly… ginger kills cancer cells. I was furious why this scientist let the flames be fueled by gross extrapolation of science that hasn’t been tested in humans.

My favorite part is when she calls herself Dr. Strangelove in juxtaposition to Dr. Love, who has been on TED selling Oxytocin as the moral molecule. Crockett says there are scientific studies that have shown Oxytocin increasing envy, gloating, selective assocation with one’s own group (clique behavior, exclusionary behavior) — so she can easily say that Oxytocin is the immoral molecule.

People may say, oh this type of bunk can’t harm anyone — but then you are talking about vulnerable population (patients who suffer from conditions that may be labeled “incurable” “irreversible” “terminal” — and they are willing to try anything and everything at their own expense (non approved treatments aren’t paid for by insurance companies).

As for Dr. Love’s Oxytocin-love, Tell “oh this can’t harm anyone” to the children whose parents are trying to purchase oxytocin to dose their “ills”.

Updated: June 30, 2013 — 8:03 am

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