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Old March 29th, 2003, 00:43
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Nonprofit Organization Promoting Prostate Screening Funded by Pharmaceutical Industry

The group US Too !, which promotes prostate cancer screening, has led the attack on doctors and medical organizations that claim screening for prostate cancer is of unproven benefit. It has been recently discovered that the group is over 95% supported by the pharmaceutical industry. This highlights the tactics used by many pharmaceutical companies: they give money to nonprofit organizations as a marketing tool. Because the money goes to nonprofit organizations, use of the marketing funds are not as highly regulated compared to other forms of advertising. Comment: screening for prostate cancer remains controversial. Heavy pharmaceutical company support of this organization is of concern. I believe that routine screening, i.e. screening all men regardless of family background or symptoms, is not beneficial. The recommendations by the US Preventive Services Taskforce concludes that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine screening. The good news is that a major research study is underway which should resolve this issue. [ BMJ 2003;326:680 ( 29 March ) ]
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