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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 3991

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

Re: the promotion of ketoconazole
1989 Feb;


Janssen is promoting oral ketoconazole for use in diaper rash in Thailand when safer topical preparations are available.

*analysis/Thailand/developing countries/ketoconazole/Janssen/ dermatology/MaLAM/Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing/ quality of information/ safety & risk information/ETHICAL ISSUES IN PROMOTION: COMPANY STANDARDS/EVALUATION OF PROMOTION: DRUG SAFETY/PROMOTION AND HEALTH NEEDS: PROMOTION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES


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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