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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 17794

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

Carmody D, Mansfield PR
What do medical students think about pharmaceutical promotion?
Australian Medical Student Journal 2010 Apr; 1:(1):54-7
http://www.amsj.org/archives/300


Abstract:

Aim: The aim of this review was to produce an overview of
surveys of medical students’ exposure to and attitudes towards
pharmaceutical promotion. Methods: PubMed was searched
for studies featuring surveys of medical students regarding their
interactions with pharmaceutical promotion and tabulated
the findings for survey questions relating to the main themes.
Results: Students have significant exposure to promotion, and
they generally view receiving gifts as acceptable, but do regard
some gifts as more appropriate than others. Most students think
pharmaceutical sales representative (PSR) presentations are biased
but still of educational value and should not be banned. Most
students do not believe promotion will affect their prescribing
behaviours. A large majority of students want more education in
their curricula on how to interact with PSRs. Conclusions: Many
medical students think that pharmaceutical promotion is biased
and feel underprepared for interactions with the pharmaceutical
industry. Despite this, they accept exposure to pharmaceutical
promotion believing that it will not influence them. There is scope
for improved education in medical schools about this issue.

 

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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909