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back to article Big pharma discredited by Twitter drug-pushing: Official

A pharmaceutical company's use of Twitter to promote medicines discredited the industry, a regulatory body has ruled. The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) said that Bayer Healthcare had violated the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Code of Conduct (ABPI Code). The Code sets rules on …

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WTF?

Does it matter

Does it matter when new rules have effectively ruled out all forms of natural health care? It's not like we have a choice anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

Good luck with that

Hope the homoeopathy and aromatherapy work for you when you get something serious.

You do realise that every traditional remedy has been extensively tested and those that work have been labelled 'medicine', everything else is just snake oil and that has been proven many times over.

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Pint

What is "Natural" health care?

Any intervention to help someone recover from illness or injury is unnatural, and there are plenty of "natural" things that will kill you.

Mitchell & Webb sum it up brilliantly - http://amtiskaw.co.uk/homeopathic-a%26e.html

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Paris Hilton

Seriously, who comes up with this kind of stuff?

"The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA)"

Who are these guys and what are they doing for whom and why?

"The company also breached a rule that prohibits companies releasing information about prescription-only medicines that would encourage the public to ask their doctor for the product."

Why does such a rule exist? Do the blinders need to be kept on them good horses? Is somebody afraid of consumers?

"...where companies bring discredit upon and reduce confidence in the pharmaceutical industry..."

What does that even mean? What or who comprises the "pharmaceutical industry"? Why doesn't said company just bring discredit upon itself? Why should people have "confidence in the pharmaceutical industry" in in the first place??!?

It smacks of cartel logic trying to protect some turf, really.

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No

It's so that consumers don't get bombarded with the sort of crap they do in the US. If I "asked my doctor" about every prescription drug which I see advertised and which I somehow believed might possibly help me, I'd be on more medications than I could count and my entire paycheck would go straight to Big Pharmaceuticals (presumably to pay for more advertising).

It's comical, watching how they try to make these ads memorable while having to list the assorted nasty side-effects. But it must work, or they wouldn't bother.

I've sat in a doctor's waiting room where the patients and staff combined were outnumbered by drug company sales reps.

It's a big racket, designed to get as many people as possible on as many drugs as possible, to make as much money as possible. As far as I can see the biggest difference between their behavior and that of your local scumbag drug pusher is that the shady blingy dude on the corner isn't allowed to advertise his wares during the evening news broadcast.

That's why the PMCPA exists, to keep that slippery slope fenced off.

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FAIL

"Seriously, who comes up with this kind of stuff?"

Because:

Ignorant people are demanding drugs that cost way more than other equally good treatments.

Are demanding advertised drugs that are less effective that other treatments.

Or worst yet, people are convincing themselves that because they have symptoms mentioned in advertisements that they have a different illness to the one diagnosed and subsequently refuse to take the correct prescribed medication.

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Thumb Up

Good on them

When I stayed in America for one month the amount of advertising for prescription medication extremely disturbing.

The only thing more disturbing was an American colleague listing all the prescription medication her 7 year old son was on, usually for symptoms that at the root Brits would call "Being a typical 7 year old".

I am glad Blighty has rules like this.

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the bit

i love the most is when the voice over reads out the list of side effects really quickly, and one of them is almost always death.

Its also a different attitude to health over there.

Here we go to the doctor, the doctor has a think and prescribes something.

In the US, you go to the doctor, tell them the problem, tell them what you want done and complain if the doctor disagrees.

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Meh

Title

"i love the most is when the voice over reads out the list of side effects really quickly, and one of them is almost always death.

Its also a different attitude to health over there.

Here we go to the doctor, the doctor has a think and prescribes something.

In the US, you go to the doctor, tell them the problem, tell them what you want done and complain if the doctor disagrees."

It's getting like America over here now. Every doctor has a story about some neurotic woman (and it's usually women) bringing in a printout about some random disease she has read about on the internet - clinical depression, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and other 'chick crap' illnesses.

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FAIL

Lucky for you

Obviously you'll never have to worry about dealing with "chick crap". You might want to watch for carpal tunnel though, I hear that repeated back-and-forth motion can set it off.

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Anonymous Coward

Better

My mother had to take some pills for a month and the label had the following:

SIDE-EFFECTS: Blah, blah, blah, vomiting, nausea, death, aches, blah blah blah

SERIOUS SIDE-EFFECTS: cramps, blah blah blah

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Oh most likely

"Every doctor has a story about some neurotic woman (and it's usually women) bringing in a printout about some random disease she has read about on the internet"

And you can almost guarantee when it involves a child, UK or US, its ALWAYS the mother thats doing it.

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Stop

wow.

wow, did I fall through a black hole into 1863?

damn that protective parental instinct, it's not like it's ever done the human race any good. Well, it probably did result in the survival of James139, which could be argued to be an overall negative.

it's pretty usual for parents to be protective of their children, and most of us should probably be thankful for that. It's equally a good idea for there to be rules in place to ensure the pharmaceutical industry doesn't exploit this instinct to worrying ends. As others have pointed out, the U.S. model probably isn't a great one. But I for one find it pretty offensive for you to start blaming parents for caring about their children...

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 101

"Some neurotic woman"

What is it with the sexism and misogyny on comment sites, populated by supposedly intelligent people? Have a serious think about what you said and why it's not acceptable.

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If its going to be advertised

then I should be able to buy it over the counter. Advertising prescription-only drugs to the public is a very dodgy idea indeed

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Devil

p3n15 pump1ng

Shamed by the size of ur w1lly? Make it bigger, stronger & last longer. Special! Only $9.99 in ur country while stocks last! Hurry!

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Silver badge

Who needs Twitter?

"A pharmaceutical company's use of Twitter to promote medicines discredited the industry..."

Er, I don't think they needed twitter, they can themselves, all by themselves...

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Holmes

As Claude Rains might have said...

...I'm shocked -- SHOCKED -- to discover that pharmaceutical corporations are shilling for their products on Twitter!

@Anonymous Coward at 09:58gmt on 08.22.11:

You think one month was bad? Try being an actual American who's spent the past ten or fifteen years being pummelled with "ask you doctor about..." TV commercials for prescription medications, many for obscure three-letter-abbreviated ailments we didn't even know existed until those commercials hit the air.

The "ask your doctor" prescription med commercials are basically the grown-ups' version of commercials directed at children urging them to pester their parents to buy them This Year's Hot New Toy for Christmas.

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Anonymous Coward

I salute you

For A) Maintaining sanity and B) Resisting the advertising.

Seriously, at the end I wasn't bothering with the TV because the adverts (With the aforementioned mother listing the drug) really really disturbed and angered me.

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or a Canadian

Or being a Canadian, as we get all of your TV. thanks for that.

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Megaphone

hey, interested in a little class-action?

Big Pharma is also a boon for lawyers. I've noticed that many of the drugs being pushed on TV 4-5 years ago (I'm from Canada and get most of my TV from the US) are now being recalled for serious side-effects. I can think of a few big ones: Lipitor, Celexa (and a whole host of other anti-depressants) and Propecia. All of these have been pulled from the market and are involved with class-action lawsuits.

It makes one wonder if the idea is to sicken people on purpose to sell them more drugs later on.

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re: interested in a little class action?

Etropiated sez on 08.22.11 @20:38gmt:

"Big Pharma is also a boon for lawyers. I've noticed that many of the drugs being pushed on TV 4-5 years ago (I'm from Canada and get most of my TV from the US) are now being recalled for serious side-effects. I can think of a few big ones: Lipitor, Celexa (and a whole host of other anti-depressants) and Propecia. All of these have been pulled from the market and are involved with class-action lawsuits..."

My wife has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was a young girl; and when Vioxx came out about ten or twelve years ago, it was a boon to her -- until it was discovered that the stuff was causing heart attacks and was recalled. She still gets around OK, but has to "ration" the amount of physical things she does, like gardening or dancing, in combination with regular cortisone shots from the doctor, and Aleve (over-the-counter stuff).

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Happy

Hmmm, interesting

I didn't know USA telly did adverts like that - I guess I have to get out more. Anyway - in the UK I've seen people try to raise awareness of a new treatment option because it's too expensive for the NHS so they probably don't talk about it much? A different side to the argument if you're ill and don't want to be? I suspect the interwebs wins again:- Wiki any drug or treatment for research and if you really want to put in some effort, you could even try Google.

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d2
Alert

@Anonymous Coward Better

Using a computer program, scientists analyzed 5,600 drug labels

and more than 500,000 labeled effects.

They found that the average drug comes with a list of 70 potential reactions,..

In fact, the more commonly prescribed drugs averaged around 100 side effects each,

with some drugs containing as many as 525 listed reactions.

http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/antidepressant-drugs-have-100-to-525-side-effects/

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Bronze badge

Y'know what really bugs the hell out of _me_...

...is seeing all these prescription antidepressants advertised on TV -- there's even one out now called "Soma", f'crissakes -- in which the ads state that "depression _may_ be caused by a chemical imbalance" ("may" being the operative word here), and then go on to list side-effects which include "thoughts of suicide". What's worse is how the manufacturers of antidepressants fought tooth'n'nail to prevent the requirement of "black box" warnings on antidepressant packaging.

I'll stick to treating my depression with marijuana, thanks very much.

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