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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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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