Direct-to-consumer advertising of success rates for medically assisted reproduction: a review of national clinic websites

BMJ Open 2017; 7:e012218.
Authors: Wilkinson J, Vail A, Roberts SA
“Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs is permitted only in the USA and New Zealand. However, concerns that direct advertising drives demand for more expensive, rather than more effective, treatments do not extend to bans on direct advertising of other medical practices.”
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Dodgy claims for complementary medicines? Here’s how the drug watchdog could have more bite

The Conversation, 19 December 2016
Authors: Ken Harvey, Sasha Hall, Tiana Moutafis
“Complementary medicine suppliers are getting away with breaching advertising requirements because Australia’s medicines regulatory authority has no bite, new data confirms. This means consumers can have little confidence in advertising claims for listed medicines, mainly complementary medicines like herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements.”
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Why Africa should resist the power of Big Sugar to undermine public health

The Conversation, 8 November 2016
Author: Rob Moodie
“The junk food, sugary drink and alcohol industries claim to be part of the solution. The solution requires them to help improve their consumers’ health by decreasing advertising to children, reducing levels of salt, fat and sugar in their products, and labelling food honestly and clearly. These are all measures they are convinced are in conflict with their responsibility to make money for their shareholders.”
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After hours aged care: profit versus quality care

MJA Insight, Issue 43 / 7 November 2016
Author: Cate Swannell
“Professor Kirsty Douglas, professor of general practice at the Australian National University, told MJA InSight that significant shifts in Medicare claims for after-hours services, as well as changes in advertising regulations that made it possible for medical deputising services to advertise directly to the public, had complicated an already byzantine model of aged care.”
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How the tobacco industry is gaming Australian health regulations

The Conversation, 2 November 2016
Author: Steven Greenland
“Australia’s tough tobacco regulations are acting as a catalyst for the industry to develop sophisticated marketing practices. These companies are gaming the system by anticipating regulatory impact and then using unregulated marketing elements to overcome it.”
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Big Tobacco’s dirty tricks in opposing plain packaging

The Conversation, 17 October 2016
Author: Jenny Hatchard
“Tobacco companies want to sell you cigarettes today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. Whether you’re at the tobacco counter or out with friends, glitzy cigarette packaging is a really important part of their sales pitch. Tobacco companies are aware of this. It’s why they are so opposed to their cigarettes being put in plain packaging.”
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U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear tobacco arbitration dispute

Reuters, 11 October 2016
Author: Lawrence Hurley
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand lower court rulings allowing Pennsylvania and Maryland to keep tens of millions of dollars in a dispute with tobacco companies involving the massive 1998 settlement over deceptive marketing and advertising of cigarettes.”
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Look Who’s Bearing The Cost Of Pharma’s Long-Time Sales And Marketing Tactics

Forbes, 26 August 2016
Author: Erika Kelton
“For decades, drug manufacturers have undertaken aggressive and sometimes illegal marketing to boost profits, even when patients’ health is at risk. The arrest of two pharma sales employees in June underscores that Big Pharma is not simply a bystander to the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic. Pharma’s no-holds-barred promotional tactics are an integral cause of this tragedy.”
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FDA Sanctions Off-Label Drug Promotion

Health Affairs Blog, online 19 July 2016
Authors: Deborah Mazer and Gregory Curfman
“Physicians have the authority to prescribe drugs for any reason they believe will benefit the patient, regardless of whether the use is on- or off-label. Off-label prescription is neither illegal nor unethical when based on the best available evidence. By contrast, off-label promotion—unlike off-label use—has heretofore invited legal liability including criminal charges, penalties under the False Claims Act, and misbranding actions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). …The recent settlement between the FDA and Amarin Corporation, a pharmaceutical company with one approved product, Vascepa® (icosapent ethyl), a fish oil product that lowers serum triglyceride levels…permits Amarin to engage in truthful and non-misleading promotion of Vascepa for an off-label use. Though the settlement applies only to this case, it marks a significant change in FDA policy on off-label drug promotion.”
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