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Scarpe da corsa e farmaci

 

Here is a summary of our last ticket:

 

* While the pharmaceutical industry spends tons of money in public relations and product promotion, funds invested into research and development are rather scarce.

* Companies’ main objective has always been to make profit.*

The promotion of pharmaceutical products influences prescribing physicians a lot more than they realize.

* Promotional information is often used as valid scientific information and brings about biases in the therapeutic selections of physicians.

* For all of these reasons, in several countries, public policies have been put forth in order to reduce the possibilities of pharmaceutical companies promoting their drugs.

* Each lecture in a conference should begin with a presentation of the potential conflicts of interest that could influence the speaker.  

 

I find surprisingly interesting the relationship that can be established between the pharmaceutical industry and the sports footwear industry. From the standpoint of public health, the consequences from wearing the wrong shoes are considerably less dire than ingesting the wrong drugs over a long period of time. The substance remains the same: profits supersede best practices and marketing takes precedence over science. This is how companies manage to talk runners into purchasing their new technology and retailers into selling such technology. I would even go as far as assuming the following:

 

  • While shoe companies spend tons of money in public relations and product promotion, funds invested into research and development are rather scarce.
  • Shoe companies’ main objective has always been to make profit.
  • The promotion of technological shoes by companies influences retailers’ sales habits a lot more than they realize.
  • Promotional information is often used by retailers as valid scientific information and brings about biases in the advice they provide to runners.
  • Retailers should be more critical with respect to information released by scientists or professionals who are directly or indirectly related to shoe companies.  

 

Don’t get me wrong, in the world of running, shoe retailers are not only the most influential but they are very often those that are the most involved in the running community through skills that span multiple spheres such as management and planning of group trainings and sports events. Moreover, profit margins in this business are relatively low. Even though they enjoy large extras, trips and gifts from companies, at the end of the day, retailers are not the ones that reap the most from such a lucrative market. The root of the problem is the erroneous information targeted at retailers and which is disseminated to their clients afterwards. Not to mention commercial influence, which numbs the reflective thinking of retailers and skews their beliefs. As is the case in medicine, the future is bound to bring a wind of change and it is hoped that both retailers and prescribing health professionals will rely increasingly on updated, reliable and unbiased scientific information sources.