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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19164

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

Rodwin MA
Drug advertising, continuing medical education, and physician prescribing: a historical review and reform proposal
J Law Med Ethics 2010 Dec; 38:(4):807-15
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21105944


Abstract:

Through the 1960s, many people
claimed that drug advertising was
educational and physicians often
relied on it. Continuing Medical
Education (CME) was developed to
provide an alternative. However,
because CME relied on grants,
industry funders chose the subjects
offered. Now policymakers worry that
drug firms support CME to promote
sales and that commercial support
biases prescribing and fosters
inappropriate drug use. A historical
review reveals parallel problems
between advertising and
industry-funded CME. To preclude
industry influence and improve CME,
we should ensure independent funding
by taxing medical industries,
facilities and physicians.
Independent public and professional
authorities should create CME
curricula. An independent agency
should allocate all funds to
educational institutions for
approved curricula.

 

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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963