High levels of confusion for cholesterol awareness campaigns

Danika V Hall
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02403.x
Published online: 2 March 2009

In reply: My article1 was submitted for debate when two separate, industry-sponsored cholesterol awareness campaigns were simultaneously targeting the Australian public. There is potential for public confusion following exposure to concurrent campaigns with differing sponsors, creative techniques, and messages such as “Test the Nation”. My article did not diminish the importance of cholesterol screening (nor of the prevention of or treatment for hyperlipidaemia), and indeed it reiterated the National Heart Foundation guidelines. Its intent was to raise debate about industry-sponsored disease awareness campaigns, as there is growing concern in Australia about “disease mongering”2 and the evidence that this is occurring in the cholesterol market in the United States.3

  • Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW.


  • 1. Hall DV. High levels of confusion for cholesterol awareness campaigns. Med J Aust 2008; 189: 326-328. <eMJA full text> <MJA full text>
  • 2. Moynihan R, Henry D. The fight against disease mongering: generating knowledge for action. PLoS Med 2006; 3: e191.
  • 3. Moynihan R, Cassels A. Selling to everyone: high cholesterol. In: Selling sickness: how drug companies are turning us all into patients. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2005: 1-21.
  • 4. Hall D, Jones S. Branding of prescription medicines to Australian consumers. Australas Mark J 2007; 15: 97-107.
  • 5. University of Wollongong Centre for Health Initiatives. Research streams and projects. (accessed Oct 2008).


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