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Healthy Skepticism AdWatch (Australia)

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

August 2007

Criticism of Adwatch on Avandia (rosiglitazone)

This issue has been written in response to a subscriber's comments regarding the March AdWatch about GlaxoSmithKline's advertising of rosiglitazone (Avandia) in Australia.

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June 2007

Celebrex (celecoxib) from Pfizer

Is consumer health information from drug companies trustworthy? This AdWatch analyses an advertorial by Pfizer published in the Australian edition of the Readers Digest in March 2007.

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March 2007

Avandia (rosiglitazone) from GlaxoSmithKline

Do not ADOPT rosiglitazone as first-line diabetes treatment.

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September 2006

Efexor Tetrapack (venlafaxine) from Wyeth

Antidepressants are not sweets.

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July 2006

Lipidil (fenofibrate) from Solvay/Fournier

'Don't give him the usual treatment'.

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April 2006

Estelle-35ED (cyproterone-oestradiol) from Douglas

Estelle-35ED (cyproterone-oestradiol) (Douglas) She needs safe and reliable contraception, not a treatment for severe acne!

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August 2004

Feedback on Micardis Plus (telmisartan plus hydrochlorothiazide) from Boehringer Ingelheim

This report is based on feedback from 52 participants of whom 58% were doctors and 17% pharmacists.

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June 2004

Micardis Plus (telmisartan plus hydrochlorothiazide) from Boehringer Ingelheim

"The early morning danger zone": Micardis Plus (telmisartan plus hydrochlorothiazide) from Boehringer Ingelheim

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April 2004

Dialogue on Nexium (esomeprazole) from AstraZeneca

Correspondence between Healthy Skepticism and AstraZeneca regarding the advertising of Nexium.

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March 2004

Feedback on Augmentin (amoxicillin with potassium clavulanate) from GlaxoSmithKline

This report is based on feedback from 107 participants in the AdWatch on Augmentin (amoxycillin with potassium clavulanate) from GSK.

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February 2004

Augmentin (amoxicillin with potassium clavulanate) from GlaxoSmithKline

"Take a closer look"

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December 2003

Feedback on Nexium (esomeprazole) from AstraZeneca

This report is based on feedback from 142 people who participated in AdWatch during 26 September to 13 December 2003.

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October 2003

Nexium (esomeprazole) from AstraZeneca

Appealing to our desire for power.

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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963