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J Sex Marital Ther. 2013;39(6):541-59. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2012.736922. Epub 2013 May 14.

Erectile dysfunction and the internet: drug company manipulation of public and professional opinion.

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School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Given that the Internet is now a major source of information regarding health and mental health problems, and that it is in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry to influence public and professional opinion, this study evaluated 70 websites about erectile dysfunction. The 31 drug company-funded websites (44%) were, compared with the 39 websites that are not industry funded, significantly more biased toward biological factors in general, and toward medication in particular (p < .01). The high proportion of websites that are industry sponsored, and the bias of those websites, confirms previous studies on depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and demonstrates that drug companies are using their financial might to manipulate public and professional opinion on the Internet.

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