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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 2992

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

Frisof KB, Parnicky K.
The burden of junk mail
New England Journal of Medicine 1979; 300:865-866


Abstract:

In December 1978, the two authors received, unsolicited, 71 issues of 40 different publications. 50% of a total of 4396 pages were advertisements. The cost of these publications to the drug industry is about $7.8 million per month. These costs are ultimately borne by patients. Doctors should request removal from mailing lists of publications they don’t read.

Keywords:
*letter to the editor/United States/direct mail/journal advertisements/promotion costs and volume/consumer drug prices/doctors/attitude toward promotion/ATTITUDES REGARDING PROMOTION: HEALTH PROFESSIONALS/EVALUATION OF PROMOTION: DIRECT MAIL/INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: CONSUMER DRUG COSTS/VOLUME OF AND EXPENDITURE ON PROMOTION

 

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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