Cholesterol TV ads clog reality by Alan Cassels
Fear tactic advertising Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 44, No. 2, March 2002, page(s) 69 Letters Frederick Spohn, MD
"[I]t is most distressing to see an international drug manufacturer taking out half-page ads in the National Post (page SP8, 15 December 2001) to shill Pfizer's cholesterol-lowering drug with the spiel "Which would you rather have, a cholesterol test or a final exam?" [autopsy?] with a picture of a toe-tagged stiff on a gurney"
I believe that cholesterol tests a few years ago were costing the BC Medical Plan some $4 million annually with very little health benefit to our population. Fear tactic advertising to sell drugs is in very poor taste and is socially irresponsible at a time when we are attempting to keep health costs down and still provide an excellent health care system.
--Frederick Spohn, MD
BMJ. Apr 13, 2002; 324(7342): 908--911.
Direct to consumer advertising is medicalising normal human experience by Barbara Mintzes, graduate researcher
Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, University of British Columbia, 429-2194 Health Services Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3
Lipid lowering drugs, for example, reduce mortality in men with heart disease yet there is under-prescribing in this population group. However, it is more lucrative to promote primary prevention as many more people are affected, despite the lack of significant reduction in mortality.2-10 In Chatelaine magazine in October 2001, Pfizer used the tagged toe of a corpse to promote cholesterol testing among women in their 50s without heart disease.2-11
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain: Is Gabapentin Effective?
Am Fam Physician. 2011 Sep 1;84(5):480-482.
to the editor: Contrary to the authors' statements, gabapentin (Neurontin) in dosages up to 3,600 mg per day is not more effective than placebo for the treatment of diabetic peripheral-neuropathic pain. During discovery in a lawsuit filed in federal court, it was learned that the manufacturers of Neurontin systematically biased scientific evidence through data manipulation and suppression of negative studies to promote the drug for off-label uses.1,2
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