corner
Healthy Skepticism
Join us to help reduce harm from misleading health information.
Increase font size   Decrease font size   Print-friendly view   Print
Register Log in

Healthy Skepticism International News

February 2005

Book Review: Overdosed America

Abstract:

Review of John Abramson. Overdosed America ‘The broken promise of American Medicine’ 2004; New York: Harper Collins
In the late 1990’s for-profit hospitals were competing for the lucrative market in bone marrow transplants for patients with breast cancer. Even when four of five randomised controlled trials showed no benefit, the American Society of Clinical Oncologists saw this as ‘mixed early results’. Subsequently the fifth study that did show benefit for BMT and its population was found to be fraudulent.

Since the FTA adopted the practice of accepting contributions from drug companies to speed up the process of drug approvals, the number of drugs approved by them but later withdrawn from the market for safety reasons increased from 1.6 % of all drugs approved between 1993 and 1996 to 5.3% between 1997 and 2000 (p. 86). A 2000 newspaper article (USA Today) claimed that 54% of experts on Advisory Committees of the FDA have ‘a direct financial interest in the drug or topic they are being asked to evaluate’.

The role of public relation companies in drug company activities has spread from marketing to research (p. 109). The emergence of medical education and communication companies (MECC’s). One of the biggest of these companies says in its marketing materials ‘medical education is a powerful tool that can deliver your message to key audiences and get those audiences to take action that benefits your product’.

This is an excellent book and not just in relevance to American readers. Many of the drugs and conditions considered have similar patterns of promotion and treatment in European countries and Australasia.

Dr Jon Jureidini ( .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) )

 

 

HS Int News index

Page views since 15 March 2010: 4204

 

Comments

Our members can see and make comments on this page.

 

  Healthy Skepticism on RSS   Healthy Skepticism on Facebook   Healthy Skepticism on Twitter

Please
Click to Register

(read more)

then
Click to Log in
for free access to more features of this website.

Forgot your username or password?

You are invited to
apply for membership
of Healthy Skepticism,
if you support our aims.

Pay a subscription

Support our work with a donation

Buy Healthy Skepticism T Shirts


If there is something you don't like, please tell us. If you like our work, please tell others. The contents of this page are the author's views and do not necessarily reflect the position of Healthy Skepticism or other members of Healthy Skepticism.

  • E-mail
  • LinkedIn
  • Del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • FriendFeed
  • Google Bookmarks
  • MySpace
  • Reddit
  • Slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks








...to 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.