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A Bold Step in a New Direction

Feb 11, 2011   //   by Dr. Timothy Scott   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on A Bold Step in a New Direction

I was delighted this week when I read that a medical journal made the surprising decision to stop accepting ads from drug manufacturers. The journal was an emergency medicine journal serving Australia and neighboring nations. Australia, like every western nation except New Zealand and the United States, already bans drug advertising aimed at consumers. But the editors of Emergency Medicine Australasia noted that the drug studies cited in drug ads are commonly paid for and controlled by the drug makers, are manipulated and dishonest, are not open for inspection by independent researchers and make false claims about the advertised drugs. But they also noted that the ads are very effective in influencing physician’s prescribing behavior.
 
I was surprised by their decision because I am keenly aware of how much money drug ads make for medical journals and the influence they can have on the journals. After I wrote America Fooled I decided to advertise it in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). The marketing department was pleased to sell me the page opposite the table of contents. The representatives told me that location would probably have more eyes see it than any other ad page in the journal but that drug makers typically needed two or more pages to advertise their drugs, so they had to purchase other space. I had an ad produced and submitted it to JAMA. The marketing department received it and was ready to go when the editorial department saw the ad. I received a call, and someone from that department informed me they had to pull the ad. Why? It was not because the ad was sensational. It was not. In fact, the ad contained three book endorsements from world-famous physicians and made mention of the number of reference notes cited. No, the reason they could not run the ad was that “it bites the hand that feeds us.” I was amazed that they would be so honest and blunt. All the other medical journals that rejected the ad simply sent letters saying they could not accept it without ever specifying a reason.
 
The editors of Emergency Medicine Australasia stated, “It is time to show leadership and make a stand, and medical journals have a critical role to play in this. At Emergency Medicine Australasia, we have, therefore, drawn a line in the sand and have stopped all drug advertising forthwith. We invite other journals to show their support and follow suit by declaring their hand and doing the same.”  To access that editorial in its entirety, click here.  Again, I am surprised that a stand for principle and truth can win out over the influence of money at any medical journal, but I am delighted and applaud all those who decided to join in this noble decision.

New America Fooled Site!

Jan 12, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on New America Fooled Site!

Be sure to check out all the resources we have available, such as:

  • Download the America Fooled Preface for free HERE
  • Subscribe to the America Fooled newsletter HERE to download Ch. 7, “Tricks of the Trade” FREE
  • Take the “Have You Been Fooled?” Quiz HERE
  • Check out our growing library of interviews with Dr. Scott HERE

Finally, if you don’t have a copy of the book yet, get your copy today from Amazon.com HERE. Keep checking back for news and updates about mental health, mind drugs and the tricks of the big pharmaceutical companies.

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