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Alan Cassels

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Alan Cassels is a University of Victoria researcher and the author of three books, including Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning us All into Patients (co-written with Ray Moynihan) and The ABC’s of Disease Mongering: An Epidemic in 26 Letters. The latter is a tiny book of rhymes which one critic called “Dr. Seuss taking on an overmedicated and over-diagnosed culture.” His latest book, Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease was published in April 2012.

A former naval officer and diver, Alan Cassels has been immersed in pharmaceutical policy research for nearly 20 years, primarily studying prescription drug information, pharmaceutical industry persuasion tactics and medical media.

Reporting beat: Pharmacojournalism, health, and drug policy research

Connection to B.C.: Cassels was born in Winnipeg, raised in Saskatchewan, and - at 17 years old - went west in search of an ocean and a ship.

Twitter: @akecassels

Stories by Alan Cassels


Next in Harper's War on Science Crosshairs: Health Research

We've seen libraries dismantled, studies dumpstered. Now, it's Cochrane Canada's turn at the chopping block.

By Alan Cassels, 15 Oct 2015


A Tyee Series

Breast X-Rays: The Pros and Cons May Surprise You

Mammographies save lives, but not as often as you might think. Know the downsides. Last in a series on medical screening.

By Alan Cassels, 15 Aug 2011


A Tyee Series

Screening for Prostate Cancer: 'Poster Child' for Overdiagnosis

Before you get that test, know the potential problems as well as payoffs. Fifth in a series on medical screening.

By Alan Cassels, 10 Aug 2011


A Tyee Series

Teen Screen: Should We Be Testing for Mental Illness?

The push is on to early identify youth with mental disorders. Do we really know how? Fourth in a series on medical screening.

By Alan Cassels, 25 Jul 2011


A Tyee Series

Screen Your Genes? Be Careful

Genetic tests will more likely shake you up than settle your illness risk concerns.

By Alan Cassels, 14 Jul 2011


A Tyee Series

Welcome to the Heart Scanning Industrial Complex

The truth about tests that claim to help keep your ticker ticking. Second in a series.

By Alan Cassels, 28 Jun 2011


A Tyee Series

Do You Really Need that Medical Test?

Today begins a series on hidden risks of medical screening, and how its benefits can be oversold.

By Alan Cassels, 20 Jun 2011


Heart Drugs Are Huge, but New Harms Emerge

Statins' side-effects show what you don't feel might hurt you.

By Alan Cassels, 21 Aug 2009


Celebrity Drug Dealers

Selling menopause 'cures' that proved dangerous hasn't change the game.

By Alan Cassels and Ray Moynihan , 20 Jul 2005