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: 6902

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

Vermeulen L.
Clarification and amplification
BMJ 1999 Aug 20; 319:(7208):525


Dunea has summarized clearly the current state of clinical affairs in the US. Medication prescribing has become an exercise in wanton waste and he certainly did not need to look far to find examples. Others, even more disturbing, were most likely available to him (but might have been less believable?). We need to re-infuse rational therapeutic behavior into our prescribing practices, or face even more onerous restrictions on appropriate medication use by both private and public payers. I would, however, like to clarify the term Dunea used to describe the pharmaceutical industry. He refers to the “pharmacy industry” being concerned about federal regulation which will certainly be needed if a prescription drug benefit is added to Medicare. As a pharmacist, I feel it is important to distinguish the profession of pharmacy from pharmaceutical manufacturers. Pharmacists have repeatedly proven their ability to improve the quality of medication use while increasing cost-efficiency. I’d refer readers to a recent study (Leape LL et al., JAMA 1999;282:267-270) demonstrating our ability in critical care practice. In contrast, pharmaceutical manufacturers engage in various practices that promote inappropriate medication use, including direct-to-consumer advertising. As the US FDA has been forced to lift restrictions on marketing practices, prescribing patterns have clearly changed. A search for “reason” in prescribing habits will not bear fruit in the garden of free enterprise. [full text]

*letter to the editor/United States/quality of prescribing/pharmacists/DTCA/direct-to-consumer advertising/FDA/Food and Drug Administration/INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: PRESCRIBING, DRUG USE/PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES: INDUSTRY/PROMOTIONAL TECHNIQUES: DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER ADVERTISING


  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

As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963