Should there be drug advertising?
A retired hippie, Richard Smith (now editor of the BMJ), makes a case for
- By: Richard Smith, Rhona MacDonald
This is the piece I've dreaded writing. I grew old the day John Lennon died. Today I grow very old. I'm 49 - as ancient in your minds as Winston Churchill, nylon stockings, and spitting in the street. But if I'm old enough to preach to you about the need to include drug advertising in the BMJ I must be as old as them. I want to make my case - in part - by telling you my story. I started from where you may be now. It is the fate of revolutionaries to turn into the people they despise, and I'm the living proof - but I still think I'm right.
While at school in south London I was a communist. I sometimes imagine myself explaining what that means to my grandchildren, which, as far as I know, I don't yet have. It will seem as strange as having