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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 7948

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

Business outlook 2000: here we come!
Drug Topics 1999 Dec 6; 143:76-78, 80, 82, 87-88, 90, 93-9


Abstract:

The business outlook for pharmacy was assessed in a survey conducted by postal questionnaire in a random sample of 1981 pharmacy decision makers, including 1000 hospital, 750 independent, and 231 chain headquarter executives, selected from the circulation lists of Drug Topics and Hospital Pharmacist Report. The response rate was 29% for independents, 14% for chains, and 23% for hospitals. Chain and independent respondents indicated that 1999 was a better yr for business than 1998 and that they expected business in 2000 to be similar to that in 1999. Most hospital respondents looked back favorably on 1999, but their outlook for 2000 was not as positive. Most respondents were optimistic about their professional future. Independent and chain executives believed that homeopathic and herbal preparations would be their best selling products in 2000. Two-thirds of chain respondents and 36% of independents indicated that direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs favorably impacted their practices. Most chain respondents, but only 5% of independents and 34% of hospitals, had plans for automated dispensing in the yr 2000. Internet Websites were established by 17% of independents and 81% of chain stores. Most independent and chain stores have embraced pharmacist care.

 

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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963