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E-DRUG: Use of survey data in advertising

This message was posted on several statistical lists, and sent to me by
a statistician friend. It should alert all who are interested in drug
promotion.

I am suggesting to Tom Jabine that he should send the exchange of
letters also to:

1. David A Kessler MD, JD , Commissioner, Food & Drug Administration,
   5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857
2. Sidney M. Wolfe MD, Director, Public Citizen Health Research Group,
   1600 20th Street, Washington DC 20009-1001
3. Donald R. Bennett, MD, director of the Division of Drugs &
   Toxicology at the AMA in Chicago, fax (312) 464 4184

Andrew Herxheimer                  
9 Park Crescent              fax       : +44 181 346 0407
London N3 2NL, UK            e-mail: 101364.2017@compuserve.com

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 23:13:06 -0400
From: David A. Binder <binddav@statcan.ca>
To: AAPORNET <AAPORNET@usc.edu>, allstat <allstat@mailbase.ac.uk>,
    SSC List <d-ssc@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA>, sso-l <sso-l@ehd.hwc.ca>,
    SURVEY <SURVEY@ftc.gov.pe.ca>, Stats-discuss
    <stats-discuss@mcc.ac.uk>
Cc: Tom Jabine <tjabine@nas.edu>
Subject: Use of surveys in advertising

Dear subscribers to various statistical listserves:

I am forwarding this message from Tom Jabine to various listserves
because I believe the issue is important to many statisticians
interested in statistical ethics. I apologize for the cross-posting for
those who subscribe to more than one of these listserves. Those
interested in replying directly to Tom Jabine should write to him at
<tjabine@NAS.EDU>.

David Binder
Chair, Survey Research Methods Section
American Statistical Association
<binddav@statcan.ca>
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 22:25:23 EST
>From: Tom Jabine <tjabine@NAS.EDU>
>Subject: Use of surveys in advertising
>To: Multiple recipients of list SRMSNET <SRMSNET@UMDD.UMD.EDU>

>There follows a letter, which is self-explanatory, from me to the CEO
>of Pharmacia and Upjohn:
>
>                                    3231 Worthington St. NW
>                                    Washington DC  20015-2362
>                                    July 14, 1996
>
>Mr. John L. Zabriskie, CEO
>Pharmacia and Upjohn, Inc.
>7000 Portage Road
>Kalamazoo MI  99001
>
>Dear Mr. Zabriskie:
>
>In the July 14, 1996 issue of the Washington Post Parade magazine,
>an advertisement for Cortaid contained the following statement:
>
>     Only Cortaid is recommended most by doctors. That's because
>     Cortaid stops the persistent itching, then goes beyond to help
>     heal the blotchy, allergic skin rash. Trust the brand doctors
>     prefer over all other brands.
>
>I assume the statements about doctors' preferences and
>recommendations were based on one or more surveys of doctors.
>I would be obliged if you could send me information about the
>survey(s) on which these statements were based, including the
>specific questions that were asked about preferences and
>recommendations for Cortaid, the statistical results for those
>questions, and details of the survey design(s), including sample
>sizes, method of data collection, and survey response rates.
>Thank you.
>                              Sincerely,
>
>                              Thomas B. Jabine
>
>******************************************************************
>Following is the transcription of a reply that I received, dated
>8/14/96:
>
>Dear Mr. Jabine:
>
>Your letter dated July 14, 1996 to Dr. John L. Zabriskie requesting
>certain information about a CORTAID[symbol for registered trade name]
>advertisement has been referred to me for reply.
>
>While the statement you cited from the advertisement is correct and
>we have substantiation for the claims made in the statement, it is not
>our practice to publicly disclose the information you have requested
>absent a compelling business need to do so.
>
>I regret that we could not be more responsive to your inquiry.
>
>Very truly yours,
>
>Ian D. Thorburn [CONSUMER HEALTHCARE, Brand Group Director]
>*********************************************************************
>
>I am considering making an inquiry to the National Advertising
>Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Does anyone have
>other suggestions for pursuing this issue, or am I wasting my time?
>
>                                             Tom Jabine

   


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