Monday, February 6, 2006

Backdoor Big Pharma

Direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs is banned in Australia.

"Current Affairs" television is a colloquialism for the evening tabloid news programs that reside between the "real" news and the gameshows.They are "journalism" of the lowest form.

Some recent examples from one called Today Tonight include:
Sex drive solution to be released and
Herbal therapy cures infertility

The last one is Dr Dorks favourite. It has a nice little retraction at the end where it acknowledges even the single case history, which they tout as evidence, is retracted due to obvious confounding bias.

These shows aren't all bad. But they are full of rubbish, fearmongering, false hope and shoddy journalism.

This article in the Australian Doctor magazine refers to a conviction recently against Roche. Roche had sent clearly positively biased material in relation to Xenical, a prescription weight loss drug, to these journalists, which they aired without any particular research or fact-checking. One suspects more was happening under the table. But this is speculation only.

Roche was fined $20,000. A small price to pay for such positively biased exposure. And free advertising.

UPDATE: Angry Doc has posted an eloquent discussion today exploring the relationship between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. Worth a read.

UPDATE: This post originally vanished after posting. Thanks to AngryDoc who found a copy for him. Dr Dork suspects his computing inability is likely to blame. Apologies to readers.

There have also been some issues this week

All posts are now backed up more thoroughly.

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