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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 11473

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Moynihan R.
How to disentangle doctors and drug companies
Open Medicine 2007 Sep 18; 1:(3):epub


The folks at the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche really know how to organize a good meal. Not long ago they treated more than 200 lucky cancer specialists to a night out at one of Australia’s top restaurants, inside the world-famous Sydney Opera House.

The harbourside restaurant boasts a “degustation” menu of sterling caviar, kingfish sashimi and the best of French and Australian wines. The meal was priced at more than A$200 a head, and the whole night cost Roche over A$65,000.1 I know that for fact because a disgruntled diner leaked me a copy of the bill. “The gluttony of the whole thing was mind-blowing,” she told me…


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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