Sunday, April 22, 2007

Patient groups special: Swallowing the best advice?

Patient groups special: Swallowing the best advice? : "They are supposed to be grassroots organisations representing the interests of people with serious diseases. But Drummond Rennie, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, believes that some patient groups are perilously close to becoming extensions of pharmaceutical companies' marketing departments. 'There's a crisis here,' he contends.

Rather than grassroots, the word Rennie uses to describe such organisations is 'astroturf'. Originating in the black arts of politics and public relations, astroturfing is the practice of disguising an orchestrated campaign as a spontaneous upwelling of public opinion."

Whom can you trust ? The only solution is to become well-informed - and to analyse all the information you receive critically.

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