Gastroesophageal Reux Disease
Although humans have suffered from heartburn for millennia, gastroesophageal reux disease, or GERD, has only been recently recognized as a disease. GERD is dened as chronic symptoms or mucosal damage resulting from the abnormal reux of gastric or duodenal contents into the esophagus. The disease and its treatment have been the target of aggressive pharmaceutical marketing to both professionals and consumers. The proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) class of medications is the third best-selling pharmaceutical class of drugs worldwide, accounting for $24 billion in sales in 2010.