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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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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963