Thursday, March 26, 2009

RealAge Sells Your Information To Drug Companies

The popular website RealAge sells your information to drug companies so they can market to you better. That long "questionnaire" you take is not private - if you become a RealAge member, as many people do, drug cartels such as Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline will have highly detailed information on which drugs to market to you. As the New York Times article says:

While few people would fill out a detailed questionnaire about their health and hand it over to a drug company looking for suggestions for new medications, that is essentially what RealAge is doing.

Oprah's TV doctor is a spokesman. There's a RealAge Facebook app. You'll see their ads all over the internet.

If you get emails from RealAge, understand that they may actually be coming from a drug company.

RealAge acts as the middleman between the drug companies and its members: it sends the e-mail messages from its own address and does not release members’ names or e-mail addresses to drug companies. That is because pharmaceutical advertisers are among “the most heavily regulated industries in the world, and they don’t necessarily want those e-mail addresses — they like that we’re a proxy for their messages,” Mr. Mikulak said.

Don't put your health in someone else's hands! Taking the test is fine, but don't take health advice from those who have a vested interest in making you a permanent patient.

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