Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: An interview with Ben Goldacre

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I’d bet most MDs are royally pissed off with folks who come in saying “I saw this drug on TV – maybe you should prescribe it to me …”

    I'm sure they are.

    Otoh, I do enjoy the fact that my doctor takes me seriously when I tell him I've read up on something.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Rebecca Gray,

    We could pass a law to stop it. Governments pass laws all the time. The government could even follow best practice and send it to a select committee and all the drug companies and publishers could make submissions about why it is a good thing and all the public health researchers could tell them why it isn't. Then we could raise a bit of public awareness of the issue.

    I was involved in a bit of research a few years ago on health literacy and where people get their medical information. Apart from the GPs and other clinicians many go to the chemist and others ask family and friends. But a worryingly large number believe the ads on TV and in magazines.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Ben Goldacre going to be interviewed by Kim Hill tomorrow

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Gray, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The government DID consult on DTCA 10 years ago, and collated all the entirely predictable submissions (ie consumer groups and researchers say it's not a good idea, pharmaceutical companies say it is). Then they used this information to... do nothing further, from what I'm aware (there may be nuances I am not aware of, of course).

    http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/direct-consumer-advertising-prescription-medicines-new-zealand

    Wellington • Since May 2016 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Rebecca Gray,

    That is a MoH consultation and provides some good although outdated info to base a new law on. A select committee is a much more political process with a changed law as an outcome. It is really easy to change a law if there is political will to do so. Nicky Hagar said the other day that NZ could stop being a tax haven with a short simple piece of legislation. So no reason why DTCA couldn't be stopped too. Kevin Hague probably has it on his very long to-do list when he is Minister.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Gray, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Oh yep, you're right on all counts there! I was just noting that they seemed to have started down the track of getting views on this then... stalled (possibly due to lack of political will to take it further, possibly some other reason).

    Wellington • Since May 2016 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Otoh, I do enjoy the fact that my doctor takes me seriously when I tell him I've read up on something.

    When my GP finally diagnosed my M.E. (not at my pushing - it was a complete surprise), he said "within 24 hours you'll know more about this than I ever will." And then he said the bit that's kept me on his books - "Let me know if they find any treatment that helps".

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

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