Med Men: How Big Pharma’s investment in the advertising model taught us to view health as another consumer choice

Ann Bauer in Tablet:

In 2009, I took a job as a copywriter with an ad agency in Minneapolis. After 10 years of academia and publishing in obscure literary magazines, I began writing copy for health care and medical device accounts. The work was boring but the salary was grand, and so I threw myself into learning about stents and dilatation balloons.

About a year into the job a large meeting was called. Suddenly my colleagues—those of the running shoe and vodka accounts—wanted in. Our flagship health care client was looking for a multimedia retail campaign for their pacemaker. A pacemaker is a simple device that can be lifesaving, essentially a low-voltage clock used to speed up and regulate a slow or sloppy heart rate. It was developed in the late 1950s and patented in 1962. Since then, the technology has not changed much. The device got smaller and the surgery to insert it more streamlined, but as a mechanical object, the design was pretty perfect.

More here.