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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 6915

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

Redelmeier DA.
Drug dependence in a journal club.
ACP J Club 1999 Nov-Dec; 131:(3):A13-4


Redelmeier expressed concern that, by running a journal club for hospital house-staff, he has unwittingly given a large amount of promotion to the pharmaceutical industry. The problem is that reliance on staff preferences resulted in disproportionate attention to therapeutic studies, the desire for rigor created an affinity for RCTs, and drug trials dominated because of their desirable methodological characteristics such as large sample sizes and double-blinding. These three factors favoured studies funded by drug companies. The problem will not go away soon. Regulatory and commercial interests conspire to perpetuate it. Redelmeier encouraged clinician-teachers who run journal clubs to guard against this trend and sometimes choose less popular articles, including studies other than drug trials. More generally, he expressed concern that the appeal of rigorous evidence may tempt people to only ask questions that are easily answered.

*editorial/Canada/United States/ Drug Therapy* Education, Medical, Continuing*


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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.