As part of the special feature Public Health in Europe a paper by Nadine Reibling was published on the question how the welfare state affects, to what extent doctors and medication are used to deal with social problems. The paper shows that social and health policy are crucial for medicalization processes, e.g. pharmaceutical regulation is responsible for the much lower consumption of psychotropic drugs in Europe compared to the liberal US. In contrast, the welfare state can also contribute to medicalization, e.g. through activation policies that foster sick leave and self-perceived disabilities for persons on minimum income benefits.
Reibling, N. (2019): Engine and Brakes: European Welfare States and the Medicalization of Social Problems. Europe Now, https://www.europenowjournal.org/2019/06/10/engine-and-brakes-european-welfare-states-and-the-medicalization-of-social-problems/.