Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Drug companies and the public

EC, don’t let drug companies give information to the public

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 28 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b290
  1. Jonathan A Currie, 4th year medical student1,
  2. Helen Preston, intercalating medical student2,
  3. Sudath Weerapperuma, 4th year medical student1
  1. 1University of Bristol Medical School, Bristol BS2 8DZ
  2. 2Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9LJ
  1. jonny.currie{at}

    That pharmaceutical companies may be given permission to provide information about their prescription medicines in Europe1 is troubling.

    Thankfully, the ban on direct to consumer advertising stands. This sort of engagement with consumers has not always benefited patients: in the case of Vioxx strong patient interest generated in the drug by its producer Merck translated into “blockbuster” status. Merck’s later withdrawal of the drug came after …

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