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  1. How family doctors can be misled by drug companies An example concerning antibiotic therapy for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections Dr. Guido Giustetto Florence (ITALY) 27 - 30 August 2006

  2. The booklet “Use the best first” Italian family doctors received the revolutionary news: a workshop at The Istituto Superiore di Sanità states that for upper respiratory tract infections • to be effective • to avoid antimicrobial resistence it is necessary to use, from the very beginning, a powerful wide spectrum antibiotic like moxifloxacin.

  3. What does literature say ? • Literature doesn’t support these theses • On the contrary, it advises us to: • Use less antibiotics (the CDC estimates that antibiotic prescribing would be reduced by more than 40%) • Wait before starting therapy • Choose a narrow-spectrum antibiotic, if antibiotic is necessary • Save the new antibiotics for severe conditions

  4. What the “real” objective ? • To widen the use of moxifloxacin from labelled indications (sinusitis only) to any upper respiratory tract infection • To increase the drug sales

  5. 3 communication tecnique tricks • I Data manipulation • II Recourse to a third party • III Use of a trademark

  6. Communication trick No. 1 To distort the picture with: • a mixture of correct information and • over-alarming statements • misleading references to tables in the text • deliberately truncated quotations • evocative and allusive words

  7. Communication trick No. 2 • Recourse to a third party to make the statements more credible and reliable. 40 specialists Paul Erlich (deceased in 1915) Istituto Superiore di Sanità

  8. Communication trick No. 3 The logotype has been invented: USE THE BEST FIRST this iconic element strengthens the verbal aspect in favour of a long lasting memorization of the message

  9. Conclusion This booklet • is not a scientific instrument • is a misleading promotion pubblication • attempts to interfere with the doctors’ independent and appropriate therapeutic choice • goes against the patients’ best interest

  10. Conclusion In this booklet marketing comes before science