Drug Companies Fund Patient Advocacy Groups

"Pharmaceutical companies are pouring millions of dollars into patient
advocacy groups and medical organisations to help expand markets for their
They are also using sponsorships and educational grants to fund
disease-awareness campaigns that urge people to see their doctors.
Many groups have become largely or totally reliant on pharmaceutical
industry money, prompting concerns they are open to pressure from companies
pushing their products.
An investigation by The Age newspaper has found:
An awareness campaign run by the National Asthma Council was spearheaded
by a cartoon dragon that was the registered trademark of a drug company
used to promote one individual asthma medication.
A drug company used a public relations firm to set up an expert medical
board to persuade people they needed hepatitis A and B vaccinations. The
company was not interested in raising awareness about hepatitis C because
it did not sell a vaccine for the disease."