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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 8547

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

Najman JM, Siskind V, Bain C.
Prescription drug advertising: medical journal practices under different types of control.
Med J Aust 1979 May 19; 1:(10):420-4


Abstract:

Medication is one important aspect of health care delivery. The sources of information used to select appropriate medication include drug advertisements which appear in professional journals. There is a need to monitor the quality of these advertisements. The study reported in this paper includes a longitudinal (1961 to 1977) and cross-societal (Britain, United States and Australia) content analysis of drug advertisements. Such a comparison contributes to the debate concerning the type of regulation likely to be effective for this form of advertising.

Keywords:
Advertising* Australia Great Britain Humans Longitudinal Studies Periodicals* Pharmaceutical Preparations* Prescriptions, Drug United States

 

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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