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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 8247

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

Fleg AN.
Introduction to pharmaceuticology
studentBMJ 2007; 15:45-88
http://www.studentbmj.com/issues/07/02/life/78.php


Abstract:

It’s a course we should all take seriously, argues Anthony N Fleg

Medical students learn much about the art of medicine in their clinical years, honing diagnostic and therapeutic skills. What you may not realise is the added, non-credit course that you take in the middle of your rotations-introduction to pharmaceuticology. Differing from pharmacology, the study of therapeutic agents and their effects on the body, pharmaceuticology involves the interaction between doctors and the industry that manufactures and promotes these agents. Medical schools do not prepare their students for the onslaught of drug company salespeople and advertisements that immediately vie for our loyalty. Gone are the days of the preclinical years, when drugs were known by their hard to pronounce generic names and complicated mechanism of action. Now the medical student is expected to speak in the language of brand names, pill colours, and catchy drug slogans…


Notes:

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...to 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.