Pharmaceutical advertisements in prescribing software: an analysis

Ken J Harvey, Agnes I Vitry, Elizabeth Roughead, Rosalie Aroni, Nicola Ballenden and Ralph Faggotter
Med J Aust 2005; 183 (2): 75-79.
  • Ken J Harvey1
  • Agnes I Vitry2
  • Elizabeth Roughead3
  • Rosalie Aroni4
  • Nicola Ballenden5
  • Ralph Faggotter6

  • 1 School of Public Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC.
  • 2 School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.
  • 3 Monash Institute of Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC.
  • 4 Australian Consumers’ Association, Marrickville, NSW.
  • 5 Kings Park, SA.



Heather Jones and Deborah Monk from Medicines Australia provided helpful information on regulatory matters. Contributors to the General Practice Computer Group Talk (GPCG_talk) email discussion forum provided vigorous and thoughtful opinions on the topic. In particular, we thank Dr Andrew Magennis, Medical Director, Health Communication Network (HCN) for responding to the debate and making a copy of HCN’s prescribing software (Medical Director) available for evaluation.

Competing interests:

K J H, A I V and R F are members of Healthy Skepticism (, an organisation that aims to improve health by reducing harm from misleading drug promotion. K J H has had a long relationship with Therapeutic Guidelines Limited as author, Chairman of the Antibiotic Writing Committee and Board Member. He was also a member of a World Health Organization Expert Working Party that devised WHO Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion. A I V is a Consultant Editor at the Australian Medicines Handbook. E R is a Board Member of Therapeutic Guidelines Limited and a subscriber to Healthy Skepticism.


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