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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 5585

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

Moynihan R.
Roche defends buying lavish meals for doctors at Sydney's restaurants
BMJ 2006 Jul 22; 333:(7560):169
http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/short/333/7560/169?etoc%3e


Abstract:

The Swiss drug giant Roche has been accused of breaching the pharmaceutical industry’s code of conduct by providing lavish meals to doctors at several of Australia’s leading restaurants.

The dinners were part of a Roche sponsored scientific symposium on haematology-oncology treatments, which included the company’s top selling pharmaceutical, rituximab (MabThera), which has annual sales of more than SFr4bn (£1.8bn; 2.6bn; $3.2bn).

According to documents obtained by the BMJ, Roche spent more than $A65000 (£27 000; 39 000; $49 000) on one meal for almost 300 people at the Guillaume at Bennelong restaurant, in the Sydney Opera House in July 2005.

With spectacular views over Sydney harbour, the restaurant is considered one of Australia’s best, boasting the “degustation menu” with multiple courses and fine wines, worth $A200 a head.

 

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What these howls of outrage and hurt amount to is that the medical profession is distressed to find its high opinion of itself not shared by writers of [prescription] drug advertising. It would be a great step forward if doctors stopped bemoaning this attack on their professional maturity and began recognizing how thoroughly justified it is.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963