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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 11838

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

Light D.
Misleading Congress about Drug Development
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2007 Oct; 32:(5):895-913


A review of:
Congressional Budget Office. Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry-A CBO Study. Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, 2006.

Full text:

Members of the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and European and Canadian parliaments depend on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as an internationally respected body to provide rigorous, objective, and critical assessments of important policy issues. The purpose of the CBO is to establish authoritative figures and facts for bills and other actions. Thus one is surprised to find that the C130 study into pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) uses widely criticized figures without qualification and fails to review objectively the range of evidence about pharmaceutical R&D or its quality. It relies almost entirely on figures from studies by researchers supported by the industry, without assessing for nonspecialists how reliable they are. As a result; the CBO uncritically reiterates the industry-endorsed “facts” and the story of huge R&D costs,
modest and precarious profits, and prices that represent good value. This new study of pharmaceutical R&D therefore comes close to reading as if it were written by the industry for its lobbying efforts…


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Email a Friend influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.