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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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  • Yahoo! Bookmarks 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.