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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 9173

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

Shankar PR.
Educating health professionals about drug and device promotion: a Nepalese perspective.
PLoS Med 2007 Feb; 4:(2):e89


“I read with interest the article by Mansfield et al. regarding educating health professionals about drug and device promotion [1]. Teaching about drug promotion is becoming increasingly important here in Nepal. During their pharmacology training at the Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, medical students are taught to critically analyze drug advertisements and other promotional material against the World Health Organization’s ethical criteria for medicinal drug promotion [2]. Their abilities in the critical analysis of drug promotional materials are evaluated during the pharmacology practical examination. The students are also taught to critically evaluate drug promotion by medical representatives (MRs) using the medium of role-play [3].

The four recommendations made by the authors are important, but developing countries may face problems in their implementation…”

Publication Types: Comment Letter MeSH Terms: Advertising* Developing Countries* Drug Industry* Drug Information Services* Equipment and Supplies Health Personnel/education* Humans Nepal


Comment on:
PLoS Med. 2006 Nov;3(11):e451.


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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