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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 16929

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: news

HC seeks govt reply on plea against new vaccines
The Times of India 2009 Dec 12
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/HC-seeks-govt-reply-on-plea-against-new-vaccines/articleshow/5328812.cms


Full text:

Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Union health ministry, asking for a reply to a petition which alleges new vaccines are being introduced without proper medical research by the authorities.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S Muralidhar said, “This is a serious issue. It shows medical facilities provided by the government are a mockery.”

The HC asked the health ministry to file a reply to the notice by January 13.

The court was hearing a petition that alleged vaccines are being introduced – under the influence of vaccine manufacturers and international agencies like the World Health Organization – into the public health system by the government without proper epidemiological and medical studies.

“We want to highlight how, in the absence of a rational vaccine policy, newer and newer vaccines are being pushed by the government into the national immunization programme,” advocate Prashant Bhushan said in his petition filed before the court.

The petition also alleged that vaccines which are either of little utility or are not required at all are being introduced and promoted by the government “at the behest of these vested interests”.

 

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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