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Healthy Skepticism Updates

Update 2009-03-10

Healthy Skepticism Update March 2009

Latest Healthy Skepticism International News Editions

March 2009 Vol 27 No 3

Advertising of therapeutic goods in Australia – a case study of FatMagnet (.pdf 773 Kb)

by Ken Harvey

"...This case study is just the latest of many in which sponsors of complementary medicine have ignored the determinations of the CRP and the TGA has also failed to follow-up or take any action in these matters…"

February 2009 Vol 27 No 2

Introduction to On speed : the many lives of amphetamine

by Nicolas Rasmussen

Before there was Prozac, and even before the tranquilizer craze of the 1950s, there was Benzedrine, Dexadrine, and Drinamyl (Dexamyl). Energetically marketed as the first outpatient antidepressant by the pharmaceutical industry in the 1940s, and using remarkably modern strategies including pharma-controlled clinical research by some of the top names in academic medicine, amphetamine blazed the trail for all subsequent mass-market psychiatric pharmaceuticals. It also created an iatrogenic addiction epidemic that seems to have been conveniently forgotten by today’s supporters of stimulant medications and amphetamine-class weight loss drugs. Is this grim history repeating itself? This month’s international news reproduces the introduction to On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine.

January 2009 Vol 27 No 1

International Society of Drug Bulletins General Assembly

Summary by David Menkes representing Healthy Skepticism

In other news…

Review of Therapeutics Initiative

Therapeutics Initiative (TI is based in British Colombia, Canada. Its mission is to provide medical doctors and pharmacists with up-to-date, evidence-based, practical information on prescription drug therapy.

Two years ago TI was threatened with withdrawal of funding. Following protests from many people and groups around the world, including Healthy Skepticism, the provincial government announced that instead of withdrawing funding there would be an academic review.

Last year many HS members signed a letter to the review in support of TI.

Recently the review report was released. It recommended ongoing funding of TI.

The response from TI states that: "We are in overall agreement with the conclusions and recommendations of this review and look forward towards expanding, enhancing and restructuring the activities of the Therapeutics Initiative as suggested by the reviewers."

The reviewers found that TI has a very high reputation internationally. It seems that finding may have helped lead to a positive outcome.

Healthy Skepticism on Facebook

Thanks to Dr Elaine Leung, who has volunteered to administer the group there, Healthy Skepticism now has a Facebook presence:


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Next Update: Update 2009-04-24

Previous Update: Update 2008-09-17

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You are going to have many difficulties. The smokers will not like your message. The tobacco interests will be vigorously opposed. The media and the government will be loath to support these findings. But you have one factor in your favour. What you have going for you is that you are right.
- Evarts Graham
When truth is unwelcome: the first reports on smoking and lung cancer.