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Healthy Skepticism Archive

MaLAM International News and MaLAM letters

MaLAM International News and MaLAM letters were published from November 1983 until October 2000 after which they were replaced by Healthy Skepticism International News. Go to MaLAM Archive


Healthy Scepticism New Zealand

Healthy Scepticism New Zealand newsletters were written by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), funded by Pharmac and published from November 1989 until June 2000. Go to Healthy Scepticism New Zealand Archive

 

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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