Healthy Skepticism
Join us to help reduce harm from misleading health information.
Increase font size   Decrease font size   Print-friendly view   Print
Register Log in

Healthy Skepticism Library item: 4449

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

Saunders C.
Program targets drug rep input.
Australian Doctor Weekly 2004 Sep 1

Full text:

A program aimed at medical students is being developed to curb doctors’ reliance on pharmaceutical representatives for drug information.

Dr Peter Mansfield, a GP and research fellow at the University of Adelaide’s department of general practice, said there were at least 13 observational studies that showed the more GPs relied on drug companies for information, the less medically appropriate their prescribing was.

A new study conducted by Dr Mansfield, director of drug advertising watchdog Healthy Skepticism, and colleagues suggested targeting medical students might be an appropriate way to effect behaviour change.

In the study, 119 second-year medical students were randomised to read an article that presented a moral-based argument that receiving drug company gifts was inappropriate, or an evidence-based argument about unintended bias and harm for patients from relying on drug company information.

The results showed both strategies were equally effective. However, a small number of students were annoyed by the articles and said they were more likely to accept pharmaceutical company gifts and see drug reps.

Dr Mansfield said Healthy Skepticism would develop a teaching package on the ethics of doctor-drug company relationships for use by medical schools, a move supported by Professor Max Kamien, former head of general practice at the University of WA.

Professor Kamien said such a teaching package would be helpful as long as the modules were balanced and drug companies were allowed to put their view.


  Healthy Skepticism on RSS   Healthy Skepticism on Facebook   Healthy Skepticism on Twitter

Click to Register

(read more)

Click to Log in
for free access to more features of this website.

Forgot your username or password?

You are invited to
apply for membership
of Healthy Skepticism,
if you support our aims.

Pay a subscription

Support our work with a donation

Buy Healthy Skepticism T Shirts

If there is something you don't like, please tell us. If you like our work, please tell others.

Email a Friend influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.