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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 11980

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

Spurling G, Kyle G.
Is your sample cupboard relevant to your practice?
Aust Fam Physician 2007 Mar; 36:(3):187-8,
http://www.racgp.org.au/Content/NavigationMenu/Publications/AustralianFamilyPhys/2007issues/afp200703/200703spurling.pdf


Abstract:

Sample medications represented 4% (3.8 million Australian dollars) of the Australian general practice promotional budget of pharmaceutical companies in the second quarter of 2005. In the United States, general practitioners have been shown to use sample medication in up to 20% of encounters both for commencing and for full treatment. Given the USA does not have a universal subsidy for medications like Australia, sample use may be higher than Australian GPs operating with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Australian GPs perceive benefits for samples as a trial run: to test patient tolerability, enhance patient satisfaction, and for those who cannot afford multiple trials of drugs. Acceptance of samples by GPs is associated with preference for and rapid prescription of new drugs and positive attitudes toward pharmaceutical representatives. Concerns with sample medications include prescribing medication that is not the GP’s preferred choice owing to the limited range of samples available. Other concerns include dispensing expired medication and wastage of medications.

Keywords:
MeSH Terms: Drug Industry Drug Storage/standards* Drug Utilization* Family Practice* Humans Marketing* Pharmaceutical Preparations* Poverty Areas* Queensland Substances: Pharmaceutical Preparations


Notes:

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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