Pharmaceuticals

Telling It Like It Is

The director of external relations for Procter & Gamble, Mark Chakravarty, recently told a UK healthcare PR conference that the drug industry is less than popular with the public. "There is a high suspicion of the pharma industry. Greed, dishonesty and fraud are some of its associations. The clinical trial press this week and an increased number of drug scandals add to this image," he said.

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The Invisible Hands Guiding Doctors' Continuing Education

Ray Moynihan reveals that while educational events have been advertised to Australian medical practitioners as being independent, behind the scenes sponsoring drug companies were being offered the chance to nominate speakers and topics relating to their drugs.

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Beyond Advertising: The Pharmaceutical Industry's Hidden Marketing Tactics

In early January, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce began investigating celebrity endorsements in television ads for brand-name drugs. The investigation was sparked by Pfizer's commercials for its best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor. These direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads feature Dr. Robert Jarvik, a pioneer in the development of the artificial heart. Viewers are not told that Jarvik is not a cardiologist, nor is he licensed to practice medicine. His presentation as a trusted expert, Pfizer presumably hopes, is enough to persuade viewers to ask their doctors for Lipitor by name. And that would help erode the increasing competition from generic alternatives.

CMD and Consumer Reports WebWatch Launch Full Frontal Scrutiny

"The American public deserves to know when someone is trying to persuade them." — U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Thursday, January 17, 2008

Front Groups Beware of Full Frontal Scrutiny

Front Groups - Appearances May Be DeceptiveToday, the Center for Media and Democracy and our partners at Consumer Reports WebWatch launched an exciting new project: Full Frontal Scrutiny. The site seeks to shine a light on front groups -- organizations that state a particular agenda, while hiding or obscuring their identity, membership or sponsorship, or all three. Google the term "front groups" and the number one return is CMD's extensive articles on its SourceWatch site.

Once Again, Drug Companies Caught Data Doping

The pharmaceutical companies Merck and Schering-Plough, which co-market the cholesterol drug Vytorin, "have gone into damage-control mode, taking out newspaper ads." The PR campaign follows the companies' reluctant publication of a study showing that neither of the drugs present in Vytorin "reduced the buildup of fatty plaque in arteries." The study "

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More Selective Science from Pharmaceutical Front Group

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is criticizing the Providence Journal for publishing an op-ed article by Robert Goldberg while failing to disclose that Goldberg and his organization, the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest

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