Monday, December 4, 2006

Truth in Advertising? Not With Big Pharma

File under: First Do No Harm.
Warning: This post may cause dizziness, loss of appetite, and other unsavory side affects.
I happened to catch testimony today on CT-N (Connecticut's legislative network) and heard Abigail Caplovitz Field of NJ PIRG speak about the deceptiveness of drug companies and the marketing of their drugs. NJ PIRG recently put out a comprehensive report entitled "Turning Medicine into Snake Oil, How Drug Marketers Put Patients at Risk” which found that messages aimed at doctors misrepresented risks or promoted unproven uses, and that those messages distort the risk/benefit analysis, and put our lives at risk. They also found, and have documented, the suppression and misrepresentation of clinical trial data. Of course NJ PIRG has in mind some legislative solutions to stop these deceptive practices, which they have shared with the CT legislature. That testimony can be viewed on CT-N's website (although it's almost 4 hours long, but Abigail Field's testimony starts at 8:25 into the presentation). You can also read more at NJPIRG's website regarding their campaign for safe drugs.
Believe me, this is really interesting reading, and you may think twice about that next prescription.
Naturopathic medicine anyone?