Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
LEFEVRE, Fernando. Supply and demand of "instant health" by means of medicines: a proposal for research. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1987, vol.21, n.1, pp.64-67. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101987000100010.
The symbolic utilization of medicines as implying an abridgement of a long and multidimensional process which is necessary for achieving health status, socially and individually speaking, is discussed from a theoretical point of view. "Instant health" is proposed as the desired result or as the meaning of this symbolic process. The politico-ideological dimensions of the problem as strictly relation to the idea of medicines as merchandise is discussed. The paper also considers the false opposition: prescribed versus nonprescribed medicines and offers a new one - symbolic versus nonsymbolic use of medicines. Finally, a new field of research is proposed in public health - the supply and demand of symbolic goods which would satisfy the desire for "instant health".
Keywords : Drugs; Health; Semiotics; Self medication.