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Healthy Skepticism Updates

Update 2007-03-29

Do not ADOPT rosiglitazone as first-line diabetes treatment.

February 2007 Vol 25 No 2
What everyone needs to know about drug marketing. Part 3: Place, Promotion and Goals
By: Peter R Mansfield
This is the final part of a three part article about drug promotion.

Novartis is taking the Indian government to court. If Novartis is successful in its challenge against the Indian government and its patent law, more medicines are likely to be patented in India, making it very difficult for generic producers to make affordable versions of them. This could affect millions of people around the world who depend on medicines produced in India. Please sign the petition: *

When we hear about relevant websites that are new or new to us we list them in our What’s New forum:
[obsolete URL deleted]

The best of the new websites include:

An independent project run by physicians for physicians and other prescribers. The goal is to disseminate information about how pharmaceutical companies influence what we prescribe, to increase access to unbiased information about drugs, and to encourage physicians to choose pharma-free CME.

Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Updates and Commentary related to the book “Hooked: Ethics, the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry” by Howard Brody, MD, PhD ( Rowman and Littlefield, January, 2007 )

Pharmalot’s self description is “a home for lively discussion about news and trends in the pharmaceutical industry. This blog is written by Ed Silverman, a veteran journalist for The Star-Ledger of New Jersey.

We will introduce more websites in a later issue of Healthy Skepticism Updates.


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Next Update: Update 2007-04-25

Previous Update: Update 2007-03-19

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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963