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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?

Mark Raines
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.)