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Healthy Skepticism AdWatch

AdWatch illuminates the logical, psychological and pharmacological techniques used in drug advertisements.

There are AdWatch issues about advertisements published in the following countries:

Australia Italy USA


The most recent AdWatch is:

April 2010, USA:
Wyeth’s Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine) for major depressive disorder
This advertisement misleadingly promotes a serotonin and noradrenalin reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant on the basis of not needing titration. The antidepressant is a metabolite of an established SNRI, which is approaching the end of its patent life in several countries. No evidence is provided of its effectiveness and safety relative to the established drug.
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All AdWatch issues:

2010 April, USA: Wyeth’s Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine) for major depressive disorder

2009 October, USA: Amylin and Eli Lilly’s Byetta® (exenatide injection) for type 2 diabetes

2009 September, Italy: Lescol (fluvastatin) from Novartis

2007 August, Australia: Criticism of Adwatch on Avandia (rosiglitazone)

2007 June, Australia: Celebrex (celecoxib) from Pfizer

2007 March, Australia: Avandia (rosiglitazone) from GlaxoSmithKline

2006 December, Italy: Avelox (moxafloxacin) from Bayer

2006 September, Australia: Efexor Tetrapack (venlafaxine) from Wyeth

2006 July, Australia: Lipidil (fenofibrate) from Solvay/Fournier

2006 April, Australia: Estelle-35ED (cyproterone-oestradiol) from Douglas

2004 August, Australia: Feedback on Micardis Plus (telmisartan plus hydrochlorothiazide) from Boehringer Ingelheim

2004 June, Australia: Micardis Plus (telmisartan plus hydrochlorothiazide) from Boehringer Ingelheim

2004 April, Australia: Dialogue on Nexium (esomeprazole) from AstraZeneca

2004 March, Australia: Feedback on Augmentin (amoxicillin with potassium clavulanate) from GlaxoSmithKline

2004 February, Australia: Augmentin (amoxicillin with potassium clavulanate) from GlaxoSmithKline

2003 December, Australia: Feedback on Nexium (esomeprazole) from AstraZeneca

2003 October, Australia: Nexium (esomeprazole) from AstraZeneca


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If there is something you don't like, please tell us. If you like our work, please tell others. influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.