A REPORTER'S VIEW OF THE DRUG PROMOTION LANDSCAPE

Many readers of The Christian Science Monitor turn to it for the global and national news coverage that has earned the Monitor a number of prestigious journalism awards. Many also read the Monitor as a daily "prayer agenda." They see the reports of crises or challenges facing individuals, communities, and governments as opportunities to pray for "God's disposal of events," as Mary Baker Eddy once characterized spiritual activism (Christian Science Sentinel, July 22, 1905). In that spirit, we asked a Monitor journalist who has written extensively on social issues, including the aggressive marketing of pharmaceutical products, to set the stage for this week's feature subject. The following news report cites specific concerns—many raised by those within the medical community—that can help inform prayerful response.

A FAMOUS ACTRESS being interviewed on a nationally broadcast morning television show mentions that a friend is struggling with an eye disease. She then suggests that viewers should be tested for the disease and mentions a specific drug being marketed to treat it. What she doesn't say is that she is a celebrity endorser, and the drugmaker has paid her to mention its drug in the interview.

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