Beder, Sharon; Mosher, Loren R; and Gosden, Richard, 2003, Pig Pharma: Psychiatric Agenda Setting by Drug Companies, in D. Keith & P. Prosky (eds.), Family Therapy as an alternative to medication: an appraisal of Pharmland, Brunner-Routledge, New York, USA, 193-208.
This paper uses the theory of agenda setting to examine how pharmaceutical companies are using public relations techniques to manipulate psychiatric thinking and public policy-making in the mental health field in the United States and Australia. Biologically based theories of mental disorders, and the accompanying imperatives to use drugs in treatments, have come to be accepted by most of the major players in the mental health policy arena, including advocacy groups purporting to represent "consumers." Mental health policies have been extensively studied from the point of view of their effectiveness in achieving desirable mental health outcomes, but the political basis of their formulation and adoption-the agenda setting process-has been neglected.