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Thursday 21 December 2023

Veoza: Another Wonder Drug: this time for the Menopause

Pharmaceutical medicine regularly heralds medical breakthroughs, almost on a weekly basis. The latest drug to get this treatment is "a new type of non-hormonal menopause treatment for hot flushes, and night sweats". Indeed, this kind of reporting of wonder drugs can be repetitive, even monotonous. Inevitably the story is always the same. This weeks new "wonder drug" is, according to BBC News:

     "The daily pill, Veoza - or fezolinetant" which "works on the brain's temperature-control centre to alleviate the symptoms".

The report is typical, and follows the same routine pattern.

The outcome is also always the same. The new 'wonder drug' is rarely (never?) heard of again. And the disease survives and continues, unabated. I have written about a variety of these drugs in previous years, pharmaceutical drugs which I have listed as a footnote below. See if you can find one that you have ever heard about!

Where do these 'wonder drug' reports come from? It is clear that all the mainstream media do is to replicate a news release from the drug company. How can we know this? Because the news story is usually carried by all mains news outlets, the wording is identical, and the same people have (apparently) been interviewed. This news story  on Veoza, for instance, has been carried not only by the BBC, but by ITV News, the Guardian, and the Mirror, alongside many others. Little attempt has been made to change the wording, or to question the information.

For the Pharmaceutical Industry this is subliminal advertising at it most effective, as I described here in 2021. The drug companies pay not a penny for the promotion, beyond writing and distributing the news release. Yet patients, in this case women passing through the menopause, see it and want to get access to the drug. Why shouldn't they? The drug is a 'game changer'. And it must be safe because no serious side effects have been mentioned! (WARNING: the side effects of Veoza are mentioned here in this link). So it is unabashed advertising and promotion; but without the honesty that is usually expected from advertisers

But with Veoza, and this particular 'wonder drug' promotion, there is another objective. The drug has been approved by the MHRA (the UK's drug regulator) but it has not been recommended to be prescribed, free of charge, by the NHS. This will require another review, by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). So by subliminally promoting the drug in this way now, women will want it, and thereby will put pressure on NICE for approve its use within the NHS. 

All good promotion and propaganda for the drug companies!

Footnote: A selection of Pharmaceutical Drugs Previously Marketed as "Wonder Drugs", free of charge, by the Mainstream Media