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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20434

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

Ferner R
A short history of pharmaceutical marketing
BMJ 2012 Nov 20; 345:e7801
http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e7801


Abstract:

Thomas Gainsborough’s painting Peasants Going to Market: Early Morning suggests these peasants have a fairly straightforward plan to sell their meagre baskets of produce, which they will not expect to make them wealthy. Ironically, the canvas was one of a collection amassed by Thomas Holloway, who made a fortune from patent medicines, adroitly using newspapers both for explicit advertising and as a vehicle for news stories of astounding cures.1 Unsurprisingly, he advocated the “Hollowayian System of Medicine,” encapsulated in the slogan, …

 

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...to influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.