Ann Neumann at The Baffler:
Pathetically little has improved for menopausal women since Wilson died in 1981. Our fears, degradations, and inequalities are still blamed on us—and are still well-used by corporate pill-pushers. Pharmaceutical industry watchers estimate that by 2022, the HRT market will be worth an estimated $28.4 billion. (By comparison, the annual revenue of one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson, is $40 billion.)
I promise you that the many symptoms women experience when going through menopause are nothing to laugh at; the hot flashes, lethargy, and emotional ruptures can be debilitating. But Big Pharma’s attention to menopausal women over the past fifty years has unsurprisingly better served the industry’s own financial needs than women’s physical menopause symptoms—and I don’t mean the perceived loss of “beauty.” There is no rush to find scientific cures for the disruptive symptoms—today the cause of the cursed hot flash remains very much a mystery. Rather, menopause is a business opportunity, a billion-dollar drug category for corporations—and the industry’s main sell is telling women over fifty that something is drastically wrong with them.