IBS ad puts drug promotion under scrutinyBMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7404.1464-a (Published 26 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1464
- Melissa Sweet (firstname.lastname@example.org), freelance journalist specialising in health and medicine in Australia
John Dowden felt piqued when he saw an advertisement featuring young people enjoying the sunshine on a yacht, but not swimming because of various stomach problems. Dr Dowden, the editor of Australian Prescriber, had recently published an article noting that the advertisement's subject, tegaserod, a new treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, had been approved only for women with a less common form of the syndrome. He was concerned that the advertisement, published in the medical press last year, did not make these constraints clear, and lodged a complaint with the industry based committee that sets standards for marketing prescription drugs.
Dr Dowden was surprised, then, to be rung by the drug's manufacturer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, asking that he consider withdrawing the complaint. Any breach of the industry's code of conduct had been inadvertent, he was told.
“It's like a closed …