Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Orgasm, Inc

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Scathing Expose’ Uncovers Pharmaceutical Industry Plot to Exploit Female Pleasure

Is Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) an actual illness diagnosed by doctors or a phony ailment cooked up by lobbyists looking to cash in on a non-existing condition? It’s definitely the latter, according to Orgasm, Inc., as scathing an indictment of the pharmaceutical industry as you are likely ever to find on film.
This shocking expose’ was directed by Elizabeth Canner who devoted nine years to chronicling the drug companies’ effort to get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first to recognize FSD as a medical disorder, and then to approve a class of prescription drugs as female versions of Viagra. With the help of physicians placed on the pharma business payroll, some of whom were reportedly paid as much as $75,000 per day (that’s right, per day), the FDA soon certified the newly-discovered illness as an affliction marked by a woman’s “lack of desire, lack of pleasure and/or painful intercourse.”
That governmental go-ahead triggered a race among biotechs which immediately plunged headlong into a competition to be the first to bring a billion-dollar cure for the supposed malady to market. However, as this damning documentary alleges, it appears that what we have “is a case of corporate-sponsored creation of disease.”
For skeptical experts, such as Harvard Med School Professor Susan Bennett, point out, there have been “no new medical discoveries regarding women’s sexual problems.” Might this merely be “the medical industry’s attempt to change our understanding of health, illness, desire, and that ultimate moment, orgasm?”
This damning documentary highlights a larger issue, namely, “how the pharmaceutical industry, through a whole range of very sophisticated PR and marketing strategies, is changing how we think about our bodies, our health, and our diseases.” After all, ever since drug advertising was deregulated during the Reagan Era, the public has been bombarded with commercials for an array of bizarre new afflictions ranging from Restless Leg Syndrome to Male Menopause.
An eye-opening, cautionary tale unveiling a diabolical corporate conspiracy to turn healthy people into patients by medicalizing everyday aspects of the human condition.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 97 Minutes
Distributor: First Run Features

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