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And despite the huge increase, drug companies spend even far more dollars in advertising their products to physicians, not consumers.
Ephedra Fact And Fiction by Mike Fillon, page 77
Health care advocates were shocked by the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow drug makers to advertise prescription drugs on television giving only minimal information about the risks involved. In May 2004, Pfizer pled guilty to Medicaid fraud and agreed to pay fines of approximately $430 million.
The experts speak on pharmaceutical advertising:
In the pharmaceutical area, DTC advertising has been increasing in the late 1990s at a rate of around 30 percent compounded annually.
Health Care Meltdown by Robert H Lebow MD, page 149
Most, but not all, megasites support themselves with ads for prescription drugs, vitamins, and medical sundries, as well as laptops, life insurance, and books ó typical Internet commerce. You'd think that after recent disasters with Baycol, Rezulin, Lotronex, Duract, Redux and Fen-Phen, doctors would learn, but they keep prescribing new drugs like Clarinex, Nexium, and Bextra at greater risk and cost. The vast majority of everything physicians and consumers read and know about medications comes from the drug companies.
Worst Pills Best Pills by Sidney M Wolfe MD and Larry D Sasich PharmD MPH, page 10
Though broadcast advertising of prescription drugs has been legal for years, guidelines released by the FDA in 1997 clarified the rules for advertising directly to consumers.
If it weren't for pharmaceutical advertising supplements, Newsweek would be only three pages long. In May 2004, Pfizer pled guilty to Medicaid fraud and agreed to pay fines of approximately $430 million.
" They estimate a figure of 5 billion dollars was spent in 1991 for this type of advertising and add, "Though doctors insist their scientific training, high intelligence, and sophistication enable them to resist manipulation, the truth is that skillful marketers can influence M.D.
In fact, by 1995, drug companies had tripled the amount of money they formerly allotted to consumer-directed advertising, writes to Gary Null in Death by Medicine.3 in 1992 to 10.Horn.
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At pharmaceutical companies, doctors usually don't make the final decisionsóbusiness people make them.
Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 367
This subtle type of bias sometimes becomes more blatant.
On The Take by Jerome P Kassirer M.D.
For example: We've learned that Vioxx, Bextra and other COX-2 inhibitors were widely prescribed to people who didn't need them. Even the former editor of the British Medical Journal has called the industry corrupt. As that happens, more and more people are going to wake up to the reality that Big Pharma is really a Big Lie. Now your doctor can provide a treatment to help control nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Drug reps fill doctors' cabinets with "free" samples, knowing that if patients do well on them, they won't want to switch.
That makes sense, but it's not the way things work.
Telling clever stories with misleading ads
Well, first, let's explore direct-to-consumer advertising, namely the television commercial. Notice their promotional hooks and be grateful that you, unlike most consumers, are no longer susceptible to their influence. Once prevented by regulation from advertising aggressively, pharmaceutical companies now see DTC advertising as a major source of stimulating demand for their product; they spent $1. The doctors themselves are also a part of the problem.
Prescription Alternatives by Earl Mindell RPh PhD and Virginia Hopkins MA, page 531
Pharmaceutical companies spent $2. Soon, such ads constituted the medical journals' major source of funding, and while they continue to deny it, publishers are influenced by the pharmaceutical industry in choosing which articles to print.
Encyclopedia Nutritional Supplements by Michael T Murray ND, page 90
In addition, since niacin is a widely available "generic" agent, no pharmaceutical company stands to generate the huge profits that the other cholesterol-lowering drugs have enjoyed.