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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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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963