Medicalization and Marketing
Medicalization is the process by which aspects of the human condition, formerly considered nonmedical, are brought within the medical realm. Medical sociologists have asserted that medicalization is a prevalent contemporary sociocultural phenomenon that is actively promoted by pharmaceutical company marketing strategies and that has widespread negative societal effects. Medicalization has not been investigated from a business, marketing management, or macromarketing perspective. One of the principal implications of the medicalization thesis is that pharmaceutical marketing frequently acts to reduce human welfare. The central purposes of this article are to explain what evidence and argumentation has been deployed in medical sociology to implicate marketing practices in medicalization and to argue for the relevance of medicalization to the field of macromarketing. Medicalization is an intellectually robust concept of potential use when conducting macromarketing investigations into ethical and quality-of-life (QOL) aspects of the health care industries and quality of death and dying issues.