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Sponsored journalism award shocks Australian media

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 24 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1258
  1. Melissa Sweet, writer on health for “The Bulletin” magazine
  1. Australia; and on media issues for “Australian Doctor”

    F ancy a trip to Paris? You will fly business class, stay at a luxury hotel, dine well, and attend a conference in your area of interest.

    The pharmaceutical industry is well known for using such incentives to build relationships with key opinion leaders in the medical profession. Less well known, perhaps, is that journalists are also the recipients of such largess.

    When a rash of stories about impotency cropped up in the Australian media a few years ago—with headlines such as “impotence rate set to skyrocket”—it later transpired that Pfizer had sponsored the journalists involved to attend a conference on impotence in Paris.

    At the time, Pfizer said it took journalists to the Paris conference …

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