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Angella
12th August 2012, 11:50 PM
Pharmaceutical ads in medical journals are often deceiving, leading one team of researchers to suggest that doctors use caution when reviewing such ads.

The study of about 100 promotional claims for blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering drugs in medical journals found that references to research studies did not support the advertisements' claims 44 percent of the time.

For blood pressure medications, references were misleading some 69 percent of the time, and about 20 percent of ads for cholesterol-lowering mediation were misleading.

Most commonly, references were found to be "particularly misleading."

These ads referenced studies that had involved specific groups of people, such as people who had just had a heart attack, but then recommended the use of the involved medications for a different group of people or the general population.

Although strategies, such as government regulations and reviews by journal editors, have been put in place in the past to ensure journal ad accuracy, these measures have not been sufficient.

Researchers say that doctors should be wary when looking at drug ads, even if they contain research study references that seem credible. They note, however, that the accuracy of pharmaceutical advertising may be improved if the ads were submitted to a review panel prior to being published.

Lancet January 4, 2003;361:10-11,27-32

Dr. Mercola's Comment

Drug companies spent more than $19 billion last year to promote their products to consumers and doctors. That is nearly double the amount that was spent four years ago.

Without a close watch on ads, consumers might be inadequately informed about the side effects of drugs or get a distorted impression that a new, more expensive drug is markedly more effective or safer than an older and cheaper product. With the cost of prescriptions rising faster than other parts of the health care bill, the last thing the country needs are more consumers clamoring for high-cost drugs that are not much better than others.

Americans will spend over $500 billion on drugs this year.

Does anyone out there really believe that Americans are getting half a trillion dollars of benefits from these drugs? Drug companies are not stupid. They have been able to change the rules so they can now market to consumers directly.

It is no wonder why two-thirds of doctor visits result in a drug prescription.

What are the results of drug company ad campaigning?

Drug company ad campaigns are one of the main reasons why spending for prescription drugs is the fastest-growing category of health care expenditures.

It is also one of the major contributing factors as to why physicians are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.; physicians rely on drugs to patch up the problem, rather than seeking the cause.

What can you do about this problem?

You do not have to capitulate! This newsletter, and many other fabulous resources that are now available, will help enable you to take control of your own health.

source - Dr Mercola