Intended for healthcare professionals


NICE work: Level playing field requires transparency

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 08 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1394
  1. Rubin Minhas (, general practitioner
  1. Sunlight Medical Centre, Gillingham, Kent ME7 1LX

    EDITOR—Ferner and McDowell highlight the direct marketing of product messages via the media.1 This is important, but it is obvious, unsophisticated, and has begun to attract condemnation.2

    “Specialist societies” and “disease interest groups” have an important role. These are often dependent on pharmaceutical sponsorship, and their leadership is heavily targeted by the marketing arm of the drugs industry. The grey market of “satellite symposia” and ad hoc promotional meetings provides fertile ground where self interest, disease promotion, and marketing combine. Opinion leaders can be provided with soft research grants, included as investigators …

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