Chapter 8: Psychotropics and the Media


In 1997, drug company lobbyists pressured the US Congress to allow advertising psychotropic drugs on American television. And this opened the floodgates to a torrent of advertising which soared from $595 million a year in 1996 to $4.7 billion today, an increase of almost 700%.

In the United States, drug advertising on television accounts for fifty-five percent of the pharmaceutical industry’s Direct to Consumer advertising budget.

It is therefore no surprise that media conglomerates are loathe to bite the hand that feeds them.

That is how psychiatrists and drug companies have been able to use every communication outlet they can influence to drum out one single, relentless message: “You are sick, we’ve got the answer, and ask your doctor.”

But they are not satisfied only with media campaigns.

So their next strategy is: How do you convince even more people to take psychotropic drugs all the while remaining a hidden influence?