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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 16950

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: Electronic Source

Silverman E
NAMI Runs A Survey On Pharma Funding
Pharmalot 2009 Dec 15
http://www.pharmalot.com/2009/12/nami-runs-a-survey-on-pharma-funding/


Full text:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is on the defensive. After reports that most donations made to the big advocacy group came from drug makers in recent years, NAMI agreed to disclose its funding sources. The disclosure, however, came after protracted criticism of NAMI for coordinating lobbying efforts with drug makers and pushing legislation that also benefits the pharma industry.
The embarassing episode prompted NAMI’s executive director, Michael Fitzpatrick, to acknowledge industry donations were excessive and that things would change (see funding sources here). Meanwhile, board member Richard Lamb resigned over the issue, complaining little was changing, saying NAMI’s dependence on drugmakers made some actions impossible, such as warning against the use of some mental health drugs with life-threatening side effects (see here and scroll down).
Now, NAMI is conducting a survey to gauge public sentiment about such things as corporate funding, transparency and openness, and the perception these issues have on its ability to do what it does best. You can look at the survey here http://surveys.polling.net/Survey2.aspx?sID=53984191&SAMP=1 (sorry for the link, but just do a cut and paste). One has to wonder, though, why some survey questions are necessary when the issue has been so controversial. If enough participants say they’re not bothered by corporate ties, will NAMI backpeddal on its promised changes?
Hat tip to Furious Seasons

 

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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