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    This is a bit ridiculous.

    Pfizer is engaging in perfectly legitimate “awareness” campaigning (yes, we know Croaky prefers “mongering”). As Kosky admits, no prescription product is mentioned, so this is not DTC prescription advertising. The doctors with which a reader visits are perfectly entitled to (and damn well should) discuss any and all suitable medication options available that they are aware of.

    If Pfizer’s brand had not been present on this advertisement, they would have been breeching ethical (and regulatory?) requirements to acknowledge their sponsorship of the campaign. No doubt Kosky would be up in arms about Pfizer secretly hiding their involvement in a campaign that subterferously is designed to increase their sales.

    Forbid a pharmaco to try and increase its sales by creating awareness of treatment options and encouraging pateint-doctor dialogue.

  2. 2

    Jon Hunt

    It’s a common technique used by drug companies; ads persuading people to see your doctor about this or that. They are not permitted to specify a brand name, so this is one way of getting around this. At the same time they would be sending doctors mailers about whatever medication is being spruiked, telling them that these patients will soon be coming in asking about this or that, and if so we have this wonderful drug which will fix this or that.

    I think it fair to ask, if this isn’t a surreptitous way of advertising a particular drug, why would they do it? Admittedly it is probably legal but I think most would find it ethically questionable.

  3. 3


    I’ve had a chat with some of my co-workers and others in the industry about this now – a lot of them were on the fence about this particular case.

    The major point they were hooked on was the “tear-away” segment. Without this, it would not be too much different from Pharmaco-sponsored “see your doctor” TV and Internet campaigns (eg. by GSK).

    One question we thought might be relevant was, where exactly is Pfizer’s logo: on the main adspace, or on the tearaway? If the company logo is not on the tearaway presented to the doctor this would reduce further the possibility of influencing what sort of advice doctors would give.


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