Merck accused of dressing marketing up as science
Date: 19 Aug 2008
A study carried out by Merck on its now withdrawn painkiller Vioxx that showed whether the drug was easier on the stomach than an alternative was actually conducted as part of a marketing programme by the company, according to a recent report.
The report, which draws from internal company memos and reports on the Advantage study, claims that the company's marketing department engaged in 'stealth marketing' by enlisting doctors in a study whose purpose was primarily to get the doctors used to using the drug and to encourage them to promote it via word of mouth.
The authors alleged that the company selected the most influential doctors. The company denied that the study had been motivated by marketing.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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