Postmarketing surveillance Is not used to promote products

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6954.608b (Published 03 September 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:608
  1. M Vandenburg
  1. MCRC Group, Romford, Essex RM7 7DA
  2. Southampton SO3 2BX.

    EDITOR, - Simon Voss and Fiona Harris's concerns about postmarketing surveillance need to be challenged.1 Without producing any evidence the authors imply deceit by pharmaceutical companies in three ways: firstly, by using “so called” independent research companies that do not acknowledge their link with the pharmaceutical companies; secondly, by using postmarketing surveillance to promote their products; and, thirdly, by effectively paying general practitioners to prescribe particular drugs. The implication, which the evidence clearly refutes, is that postmarketing surveillance is not carried out to acceptable moral, professional, or scientific standards.

    We undertake major postmarketing surveillance studies and clearly acknowledge the sponsor when recruiting doctors. These studies are conducted according to all applicable regulations and guidelines, and include review of data; double entry of data; and audit of selected sites, data handling, and statistical procedures. Such rigorous standards, which are not adhered to in most academic research, makes postmarketing surveillance expensive. Postmarketing surveillance is …

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