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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 27

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

Mintzes B, Barer ML, Kravitz RL, Kazanjian A, Bassett K, Lexchin J, et al.
Influence of direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising and patients' requests on prescribing decisions: two site cross sectional survey
BMJ 2002; 324:278-279
http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/324/7332/278


Abstract:

This study examined the relation between direct to consumer advertising and patients’ requests for prescriptions and the relation between patients’ requests and prescribing decisions. Physicians were ambivalent about the choice of treatment in half the cases when patients had requestede advertised drugs compared with 12% for drugs not requested by patients.

Keywords:
*analytic survey Canada United States DTCA direct-to-consumer advertising doctor-patient relationship attitude toward promotion quality of information quality of prescribing ATTITUDES REGARDING PROMOTION: CONSUMERS PATIENTS INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: CONSUMERS AND PATIENTS INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: PRESCRIBING, DRUG USE PROMOTION AS A SOURCE OF INFORMATION: CONSUMERS AND PATIENTS


Notes:

Methodology note: Actual prescribing practices of physicians were not measured. There is the possibility of a social acceptability bias. Patients and physicians were surveyed in one city in Canada and the United States and the results may not be generalizable.
Part of a larger study: Mintzes et al. An assessment of the health system impact of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicines (DTCA). Volume III: patient information on medicines. Comparative patient/doctor survey in Vancouver and Sacramento
ProCite field5: Analytic survey
ProCite field38: http://bmj.com/cgi/reprint/324/7332/278

 

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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