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Healthy Skepticism International News

Servier Arcalion (sulbutiamine) and Duxaril (almitrine/raubasine)

May 1995

Vol 13 Issue 5 This month: Servier's promotion of Arcalion (sulbutiamine) and Duxaril (almitrine/raubasine) in the Philippines. Claims of "proven efficacy in all forms of asthenia" for sulbutiamine. Almitrine/raubasine said to be "the first drug to improve cerebral arterial oxygen content" and to provide "major benefits in cerebral symptoms, in visual symptoms, in ENT symptoms" but nothing is said about the possible occurence of severe adverse effects including peripheral neurological disorders. News: Follow-up on our June 1994 letter to Hoechst. Hoechst will discontinue Baralgin (dipyrone/pitofenone/fenpiverinium) in the Philippines as it is unable to prove the efficacy of the combination product using modern techniques. Dipyrone remains as a single agent despite unresolved safety questions.



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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963