Pharmaceutical Advertising Skews Supplement Coverage?
Posted Monday, June 2, 2008

A recent study from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine has found that increased pharmaceutical advertising in medical journals is associated with publishing fewer articles about dietary supplements and publishing more articles with conclusions that dietary supplements are unsafe.

This study analyzed 11 major medical journals published from June 30, 2006 and June 30, 2007. Findings included:

  • The percentage of articles concluding that dietary supplements were ineffective was 50% higher among journals with more pharmaceutical ads than among those with fewer pharmaceutical ads
  • The percentage of major articles concluding that dietary supplements were unsafe was 4% in journals with fewest and 67% among those with the most pharmaceutical ads.

These findings, along with other study findings, including that journals with the most pharmaceutical ads published significantly fewer major articles about dietary supplements, seem to indicate a significant bias against dietary supplements in journals supported by pharmaceutical advertising.

Read the complete study here:

Please share your thoughts on this important issue by commenting below.

guest on June 11, 2008 at 1:24:08 pm

Steven Shapiro's personal point of view in the last paragraph should be the first paragraph because that is the most essence of his article. Placebos are to have no therapeutic benefit- however, it is known that everything does have an effect on the body in some manner. Placebos are thought to impart effect because of the suggestion that it will benefit the person taking the substance. It points out the dramatic effect that the brain has in directing hormone and other production reactions in the body. Labeling has become ridiculous when one considers that often it is not true as stated in the disclaimer. Hopefully we all make health choices with the intention to prevent disease and sometimes specific ones. Intention is a major part of the reaction to which the body responds. Intention is one of the most important dynamics in gaining health.
guest on June 3, 2008 at 3:05:39 pm

Is anyone suprised? BTW. There's a new disease,and you have it. But guess what, I have a pill for it, but you have to take it forever. Yup, sounds about right.
guest on June 2, 2008 at 2:43:39 pm

Kemper and Hood have made an important contribution with their analysis and the publication of these results. They have provided objective proof supportive of what many of us have been observing and saying, anecdotally, for years. James

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