The following excerpts reveal what we have said all along about the promotion and prescribing of drugsAn excellent compilation of facts and references.
The pharmaceutical industry is huge and growing fast...Because of this huge and increasing expenditure, it is timely to review the effects of drug promotion on psychiatrists and our patients...Pharmaceutical companies use the most effective promotional methods that they can to increase sales income. They have a legal obligation to maximise profit for shareholders, as well as self-interest in maximising income for staff and for the company as a whole...The pharmaceutical industry has another more subtle way of maximising profit, which can potentially adversely influence doctors' abilities to make the best decisions for patients. Pharmaceutical companies do not just promote drugs, they also promote illness (which of course leads to increased sale of drugs)....There is also considerable opportunity for hidden promotion in the funding of research. For example, many so-called research studies seem designed to familiarise doctors with drugs and encourage their use, rather than to contribute to scientific knowledge. ...Patients are likely to benefit if doctors avoid contact with drug companies when possible, become very sceptical of promotional claims from any source and gain skills at critical appraisal of both the medical literature and promotion.