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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 8552

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

What companies do pharmacists now select when filling Rx's for 16 generic drugs? Part 1
Pharmacy Times 1978 Sep; 44:54-58


A survey of randomly selected retail pharmacies was conducted to determine company preferences for generic prescriptions. Responses from 837 pharmacies are tabulated to indicate company used, percentage utilized, ranking, and comparison with a previous survey in 1976 for the following drugs: ampicillin, APC (aspirin, combination, caffeine, phenacetin) with codeine, chlordiazepoxide, conjugated estrogens, digoxin, erythromycin, and hydrochlorothiazide. Data are categorized according to responses from all pharmacies, independent pharmacies filling over and under 75 prescriptions per day, and chains filling over and under 75 prescriptions per day.


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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