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Views & Reviews Drug Tales and Other Stories

Definitely not acceptable: drug company sues journal over review

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 01 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d602
  1. Ike Iheanacho, editor, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin
  1. iiheanacho{at}

With a dismissive kick a cartoon man in a ridiculous hat sends a small drug capsule flying. Questionable frivolity in a serious medical publication, some might say. But they’d be wrong. Trivial as it may look, this iconic image makes a crucial point.

It’s the device used by France’s La Revue Prescrire (and its English language sister Prescrire International) to tag a therapeutic product as “not acceptable”—in other words “without evident benefit but with real or potential disadvantages.” And it’s just the lowest of seven potential ratings. For example, at the other extreme there’s “bravo,” where the man …

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