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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 8565

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

Smith MC.
Drug product advertising and prescribing: a review of the evidence.
Am J Hosp Pharm 1977 Nov; 34:(11):1208-24


A review of the effect of advertising drug products in medical journals on the prescribing of drugs is presented. The scope of advertisiig, the content of advertising, the latent effects of advertising, the effects of advertising on prescribing, and the social costs and benefits of advertising are discussed. Advertising for antibiotic and psychotropic drug products is reviewed in some detail. It is concluded that there is inconclusive evidence that the pharmaceutical industry, through journal advertising, is persuading physicians to prescribe drugs too often or unwisely, or both. It is suggested that pharmacists study the information needs of health care practioners and provide good drug information services.

Advertising* Cost-Benefit Analysis Drug Industry Drug Therapy Drug Utilization* Prescriptions, Drug*


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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.