The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
Letter to the editor
Editor, – I read with interest the article about breaches of the APMA Code of Conduct (Aust Prescr 2002;25:41). It is good that breaches are noted in a public forum. However, I believe for completeness, there needs to be more detail about the actual advertisement and what the contentious point was rather than just reporting that the advertisement is never to be used again or the company has been fined.
I can envisage a situation where a doctor who has seen a misleading advert has its message entered into his or her consciousness where it may go on to influence prescribing habits. This is, after all, the purpose of medical advertising. The same doctor then learns that the promotional material is not to be used again, but which promotional material and what aspects of it? If you cannot recall the original advertisement how can the potentially defective prescribing practice based on that misinformation be corrected?
Medical Intern and Pharmacist
Editor's note: More details of each breach can be found in the Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association's Code of Conduct Annual Report.(The APMA is now named Medicines Australia.)