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Healthy Skepticism Updates

Update 2007-04-25

The Thai government has granted of a compulsory license for manufacture of lopinavir+ritonavir (sold by Abbott as Kaletra) Abbott has responded by withdrawing all of its current drugs awaiting registration and threatening to not register any new pharmaceutical products in Thailand.
You can read more at:
You can contribute to the day of action by sending an email to Abbott CEO Miles White via:
If you contribute in another way please inform the Student Global AIDS Campaign at:

March 2007 Vol 25 No 3
Letter from Novartis re litigation against India's refusal to grant a patent for imatinib (Glivec / Gleevec)
By: Peter R Mansfield and Joana Ramos
This issue includes an open letter from Novartis, published on request from that company. We also provide a summary of the context.

The No Free Lunch Directory is a database of health care professionals who have pledged to accept no gifts from industry and to rely on non-promotional sources of information. At present, the directory only includes health professionals from the United States. NoFreeLunch intends to include the remainder of the globe in the near future.
The directory is searchable at:
Are you a health care professional who wants to be listed? If so make the pledge at:

If you are working on, or interested in, medicines issues in Central America (regional and/or country-specific) including, but not limited to the following : access in general, role of Free Trade Agreements on access, rational use, promotion to prescribers and consumers, and pricing, please contact Joana Ramos of the HS Management Group directly in English or Spanish at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). She will put you in touch with a Guatemalan physician/public health researcher interested in forming a network of like-minded people.

Healthy Skepticism is frequently described incorrectly as an Australian organisation. We are based in Australia but our focus and membership is international. We have people from 5 countries on our management group. Our 1,474 subscribers span 81 countries. The top ten countries (with numbers of subscribers) are:
Australia - 590
United States - 297
United Kingdom - 126
Canada - 63
Spain - 37
Sweden - 30
India - 30
Italy - 24
Brazil - 22
New Zealand - 22
France - 22
Germany - 19


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Next Update: Update 2007-05-31

Previous Update: Update 2007-03-29

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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