Advertising Hype for Eniva's VIBE®

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

VIBE® is an undistinguished, high-priced, multivitamin/multimineral to which have been added proprietary blends containing 41 ingredients that include plant extracts, amino acids, and other substances. Eniva Nutraceutics would like you to believe that its listing in the Physician's Desk Reference has great significance. It's "Physician Information about VIBE" page states:

This presentation is misleading. It is true that the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) is widely used by doctors. It is a valuable source, but there are other drug references with equal or greater value. It is not accurate to describe it as the most trusted source of drug information for healthcare professionals. It is a compilation of product information from manufacturers. Doctors use it mainly to check dosage and side effects.

When used by itself, the name "PDR" usually refers to the book that lists prescription drugs. There are, however, at least 15 other PDRs. Eniva's listing is in the PDR for Nonprescription Drugs, Dietary Supplements, and Herbs, pictured above, which is not widely used. Listing in this book is not an "honor" or endorsement. The book's foreword states that "by making this material available, the publisher [Thomson PDR] is not advocating the use of any products described herein." All product information is supplied by the manufacturer. Thomson does not select what products are listed by choosing those it thinks are best. The only requirement for listing is payment of a fee. In a telephone interview, Kyle Christensen, Thomson's director of communications, confirmed that, "Listing is not a comparative statement of a product's quality or effectiveness."

In other words, Eniva's listing in the PDR for Nonprescription Drugs, Dietary Supplements, and Herbs is a paid advertisement and nothing more.

This article was posted on February 29, 2008.

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