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Healthy Skepticism Announcements

Independent drug bulletin: Prescrire International now available in English in 11 issues per year

Prescrire is a non-profit, continuing education organisation that is completely independent of any ties to government or industry. Prescrire's managers and editorial staff sign a yearly statement certifying that they have no conflicts of interest. Prescrire's publications accept no advertising, grants or other outside support or any kind.



Prescrire International is totally funded by subscribers, with no support from the pharmaceutical industry or government. It is monthly and published 11 times a year as of November 2010.

Health professionals in low-income countries (excluding drug companies) can benefit from a subscription to Prescrire International thanks to Solidarity Subscription Rates.

Contents of the December issue include:


Beware selective excerpts from the SPC


Timothy pollen (hay fever) (A Second Look)
Longer follow-up, but still no proven advantage

INN common stems: -onidine, -arotene

Temsirolimus (mantle cell lymphoma) (New Indication)
Highly toxic, limited efficacy

Ivabradine (stable angina) (New Indication)
Do not use instead of, or with, a beta-blocker

Certolizumab pegol (rheumatoid arthritis) (New Drug)
Just another TNF alpha antagonist, no therapeutic advantage

Duloxetine (Labelling Change)
Also avoid its use in recurrent depression

Tibolone and breast cancer
Evidence of increased risk

Routine antibiotics for preterm labour: risk of cerebral palsy
Do not use in women without membrane rupture or infection

Finasteride: male breast cancer
British data

Desmopressin: more cases of water intoxication
A French pharmacovigilance survey

Acute poisoning following ingestion of medicines: initial management

Paracetamol poisoning: acetylcysteine to protect the liver

Preventing absorption of ingested toxins

Opioids and naloxone

Emergency drugs for acute medication poisoning

Clinical data revealed in court
Hidden by drug companies, withheld by Food and Drug Administration

Who funds patient groups?
French diabetes patient group unhappy with Prescrire


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What these howls of outrage and hurt amount to is that the medical profession is distressed to find its high opinion of itself not shared by writers of [prescription] drug advertising. It would be a great step forward if doctors stopped bemoaning this attack on their professional maturity and began recognizing how thoroughly justified it is.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963