As I (KW) reflect back on 2013, I am proud of the contributions Selling Sickness has made to the rapidly growing new social health reform movement.
This was a breakout year for multidisciplinary conferences on over-diagnosis and disease-mongering, from Selling Sickness, Pharmed Out, Preventing Overdiagnosis, and the National Physicians Alliance, to the recent Lown Institute’s Right Care conference. In addition, the All-Trials initiative was launched in the UK and the extraordinary Choosing Wisely reform initiative is growing in the US by leaps and bounds. These will help change the conversation. It’s gratifying to see so many voices coming together to make a difference.
It seems we are at a tipping point towards collective consciousness in taking back our healthcare. Continuing the progress means more than ever, working together. It’s what we at Selling Sickness like to call a new Partnership Movement of Professionals and Advocates — embracing the fact and the perspective that the experts are in the room, not just at the front of the room.
One of our original goals for the Selling Sickness conference was to bring together academic scholars, healthcare reformers, consumer advocates, lawyers, whistleblowers and progressive health journalists. We designed everything around this goal with hopes to start new conversations, collaborations, and partnerships outside of people’s usual silos. I was reminded of this recently when I read the New York Times article on the Selling of ADHD by Alan Schwarz. We invited him to the conference after reading his earlier New York Times article about ADHD prescription drugs/addiction issues. At Selling Sickness Alan met Sue Parry, a consumer activist who has been working on ADHD related issues for many years after her son was coerced into taking meds by his school. Not only did Alan feature her story, but she served as a resource for his latest article. This is just one example of the importance of working and learning from each other.
We are looking forward to continuing our partnership work in 2014.
Happy New Year.