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Pills, Potions and Profits is UW’s 2011 Consumer Issues Conference Theme

August 30, 2011 — A lecturer in psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine will describe how psychiatry medicated a nation during his plenary speech to open the "Pills, Potions and Profits" Consumer Issues Conference Oct. 5-7 at the University of Wyoming.

Charles Barber, author of "Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Medicated a Nation," will also lead a session of the same name. The consumer conference each year examines issues of concern to public safety and pocketbooks. Speakers, the program and more are at On Facebook, search UW Consumer Issues Conference.

The marketing of drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, is becoming more pervasive but raises special issues for consumers, says Dee Pridgen, distinguished professor in the UW College of Law and a conference planner.

Those include prescription drug advertising, counterfeit drugs, the culture of drugs in American society, drug enforcement at the Wyoming borders, effective substance abuse prevention strategies, prescription drugs in medical practice, alcohol and Wyoming law and medical marijuana.

The documentary film "Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Pushing Drugs" can be seen at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the Wyoming Union Family Room followed by discussion. The film is free and open to the public.

"This conference will bring to the forefront many business, health and legal issues associated with consumer drugs in ways that can be used by consumers, businesses, attorneys, educators and policymakers," says Pridgen. "The conference features speakers on business/legal, health and criminal aspects of drugs and consumers. There will also be a panel discussion on medical marijuana." 

Many topics addressed at the conference can help make consumers safer, help them save money and be healthier, says Virginia Vincenti, conference planner and a professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

"The more we got into planning this conference, the more fascinating it became," she says. "This theme has something for everyone regardless of age, health status, income level and political orientation."

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