Even though the European Medicines Agency has endorsed the use of Prozac and similar drugs in children over eight, medical researchers doubt the appropriateness of prescribing such powerful drugs in all but rare cases.
Adriane Fugh-Berman, an Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, recounts her experience of speaking at a recent medical conference in New Mexico on the topic of drug industry influence in medical education. "Immediately after my talk, one pharmaceutical company representative announced to a conference organiser that her company would no longer support the annual conference. Another packed up his exhibit and walked out," she writes in the British Medical Journal.
A coalition of unions, women's and health groups have been granted intervenor status in a case in which CanWest MediaWorks is seeking to overturn the Canadian government's ban on direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA). The groups argue that if CanWest is successful it would push up healthcare costs and undermine the sustainability of the Canadian healthcare system.
The case of a judge granting an injunction to prevent a group of medical professionals publishing a critical review of the herbal drug Tebonin has the editor of a major drug bulletin worried. The editor of Australian Prescriber, John Dowden, notes that in two other instances where drug companies sued drug bulletins, the judgements favoured the publishers.