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Healthy Skepticism’s Aims

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1. Improving health by reducing harm from inappropriate, misleading or unethical marketing of health products or services, especially misleading pharmaceutical promotion.

2. Investigating and communicating about marketing practices.

3. Promoting healthy skepticism about marketing practices via advocacy, research and education.

4. Developing, supporting and evaluating initiatives to reduce harmful marketing practices, including reform of regulations and incentives.

5. Developing, implementing and evaluating educational strategies to improve health care decision making, including evaluation of drug promotion.

6. Supporting compassionate, appropriate, sustainable, evidence-based health care*, provided according to need, for optimal health outcomes.

7. Providing practical opportunities to advance the aims of Healthy Skepticism Inc.

* Evidence-based health care means making decisions about how to promote health or provide care by integrating the best available evidence with practitioner expertise and other resources, and with the characteristics, state, needs, values and preferences of those who will be affected.



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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909