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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 2148

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: report

WHO Department of Essential Drugs & Medicines Policy
Drug Promotion Database
: WHO Department of Essential Drugs & Medicines Policy 2002
http://www.drugpromo.info/

Keywords:


Notes:

The impetus for a major project on pharmaceutical promotion originated at the May 1999 meeting of the WHO/public-interest NGO Roundtable on Pharmaceuticals. Unethical and inappropriate drug promotion has been a continuing concern of both NGOs and the WHO. At the 1997 Roundtable on WHO’s Ethical Criteria for Promotion of Medicinal Drugs there was firm agreement that inappropriate promotion of medicinal drugs remains a problem both in developing and developed countries…This database is the first phase of the promotion project…

 

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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