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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 585

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

Vitry A, Mansfield P.
Promotion of Coversyl by Servier.
Lancet 1996 May 18; 347:(9012):1411

*letter to the editor United Kingdom Australia Servier quality of information regulation of promotion Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association ABPI Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Code of Practice (UK) Coversyl perindopril REGULATION, CODES, GUIDELINES: FEEDBACK TO COMPANIES REGULATION, CODES, GUIDELINES: INDUSTRY SELF-REGULATION


The Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing rejects Servier’s evidence that Coversyl produces any clinically important vascular remodeling. Servier’s promotion of Coversyl was in breach of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s Code of Practice three times in 1995 and 1996. The author’s have complained about Servier to the Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. Three months later, Servier which is not a member of the APMA, has not yet agreed to let the complaint be heard. It seems that industry self-regulation does not prevent repeat offences.


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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