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Healthy Skepticism Updates

Update 2007-07-03

Two new publications by Healthy Skepticism have been added to the web-site:

Is consumer health information by drug companies trustworthy? The most recent AdWatch ( ), which analyses an advertorial by Pfizer published in the Australian edition of the Readers Digest in March 2007, suggests not. This advertorial is presented as consumer information on arthritis but hardly hides its main aim: half of the brochure promotes Cox-2 inhibitors, which include Pfizer’s Celebrex® (celecoxib), in a country where direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medications is illegal.

In the latest edition of Healthy Skepticism International News ( ), Gregory Pawelski writes about the conflicts of interest inherent in the US Chemotherapy Concession, from the experience of supporting his wife as she struggled with ovarian cancer.

Also of interest is a documentary launched on June 18 called “PERx: Prescribing Evidence-Based Therapies” and the accompanying interactive website ( ). Developed by Elissa Ladd, Clinical Assistant Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, with filmaker, consumer advocate, and former drug rep Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, PERx illustrates how pharmaceutical industry influence affects the prescribing behaviors of clinicians, emphasizes the ethical implications of these practices and offers strategies to enhance evidence-based practice.


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Next Update: Update 2007-07-20

Previous Update: Update 2007-05-31

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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909