Conference greetings

Conference greetings

Dr Andrew Herxheimer

Andrew for many years taught clinical pharmacology and therapeutics at various London Medical Schools. From 1963 until 1992 he also edited Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, published by Consumers' Association. He was Extraordinary Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Groningen from 1968-77, also co-editing Side Effects of Drugs. He has long been a consultant to WHO.

Andrew was part-time consultant at the UK Cochrane Centre from the start and in 1995 became Emeritus Fellow. He is now a co-convenor of the Cochrane Adverse Effects Methods Group (, helping review authors improve the reporting of harms. In 1996 he co-founded the DIPEx project in Oxford which has built two large databases of personal experiences of health and illness, Qualitative and quantitative data are complementary. We must try to link individual experiences with the findings of controlled studies – his slogan is 'No Numbers without Words'.

I would like to welcome participants of the 2d International Conference “Quality Information for Quality Use of medicines” and its mission to raise awareness of harmful effects on health of misleading drug promotion.

The Conference aims to set the scene for independent information delivery as opposed to materials coming from pharmaceutical industry in increasing diversity of forms, presentations and delivery technologies.

The Conference should attempt to persuade governmental decision makers to improve healthcare delivery through expertise of the discipline of clinical pharmacology and evidence-based medicine.

Clinical pharmacology as a specialty is uniquely equipped with knowledge and expertise to promote patient care through the rational use of medicines with independent information delivery, research, teaching, and through scientific advice for drug development driven by public health needs.

I very much hope that you will be able to re-establish pharmaceutical manufacturing in Russia by developing this scientifically sound, patient need driven mode and not repeat the mistakes of Big Pharma which has been shamelessly hiding the harms done by its medicines.

I warmly support and endorse the Conference and congratulate the Organizing Committee.


This is a wonderful initiative to promote evidence-based rational medicine
use. I wish you a very fruitful and successful conference.

Barbara Mintzes
Assistant Professor, Dept Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Therapeutics Initiative
University of British Columbia
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Это замечательная инициатива по продвижению рационального использования лекарств, на основе доказательной медицины. Желаю вам очень плодотворной и успешной конференции.
Барбара Минтзез
Кафедра Анестезиологии, фармакологии и терапии 
Терапевтическая инициатива 
Университет Британской Колумбии, Ванкувер, Канада


We would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Kazan State Medical Academy and its organzing committee and to welcome all participants to the second International conference on Quality Information for Quality Use of Medicines.

There is a growing awareness about the importance of ensuring that medicines are being used appropriately, and a growing commitment among governments, health professionals and the wider health system to put in place programmes and strategies to enhance rational prescribing and use of medicines.

The use of medicines is influenced by many factors in the health system, by medical practice and by patients behaviours and attitudes : providing evidence based, objective information on medicines as well as regulating promotional information from industry to doctors, pharmacists and patients are both of great importance. But more information does not necesarily mean better informed doctors and better informed patients. The quality of the information and the way it is being provided and discussed with patients is critical to ensure that patients do get the benefit of the use of medicines.

Therefore we hope that this conference will contribute to the exchange of good expereinces and best practices, and will support doctors and pharmacists and the health system at large in further improving the use of medicines.

Success !

Kees de Joncheere

Regional Adviser Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals

WHO Regional Office for Europe


Gezonde scepsis

Gezonde scepsis (healthy skepticism) is an initiative of the Dutch Institute for Rational Use of Medicine. It is created to shed light on the widespread but sometimes inappropriate and misleading marketing influence of pharmaceutical companies. And to enhance awareness about the influence of pharmaceutical marketing for health professionals, like-minded individuals and organisations. Healthy scepticism was developed in response to similar initiatives in Australia, USA and Europe. To reach our goal we do research, organize trainings and symposia and inform about actual cases via our website: We constantly follow what is happening in the field and start debates.

Gezonde scepsis is supported by the Dutch Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ), the Ministry of Health (VWS) and the Dutch Institute for Rational Use of Medicine. IGZ has commissioned Gezonde scepsis to perform a research and implementation programme.

Over the last 3 years Gezonde scepsis has done a lot of research on several unexplored topics, such as:

Analysis Code of Conduct Committee on pharmaceutical advertising case law

Continuous Medical Education, who organises and who pays?
Public information as a marketing tool.
Conflict-of-interest policies of Dutch University Medical Centers.
Specialized outpatient clinics.
Seeding trials.
Press-releases by drug companies.
General practice supporters and the pharmaceutical industry.

7 and 8 October we organized the International Selling Sickness conference in Amsterdam.

Examples of campaigns to improve awareness about pharmaceutical marketing are the No-Drug-Rep certificate for General practitioners who refuse to welcome drug reps and the Amnesty pen, which we change for advertise pens with to make them aware of the influence of pharmaceutical promotion.