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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20479

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

Fighting killer drugs
The West Australian 1984 Nov 2131


Full text:

Mild-mannered Dr Peter Mansfield does not look like an angry young man.
But he is angry at the dozens of international drug companies which he says are responsible for one million deaths in underdeveloped countries each year through inappropriate marketing of dangerous pharmacists.

He is so angry that a year ago, after he completed his final year of medical studies in Bangladesh, he founded the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing.

Meeting
The 26-year-old Adelaide doctor was in Perth this week to talk to doctors and pharmacists and he will address a public meeting tonight at the Claremont Community Health Centre.

He said some drug companies were promoting drugs in development countries that were banned in Western countries.

The lobby group, which already has 160 members in five countries, is also fighting the promotion of useless and unnecessary drugs in developing countries.

 

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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