Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A debate on interactions between physicians and pharma

From the PLoS Medicine article "Can the Relationship between Doctors and Drug Companies Ever Be a Healthy One?":
But there is surely one thing we can all agree upon: both the pharmaceutical industry and health care professionals must focus on the goal of improving health. We seem to have lost sight of the shared aspirations between medical and pharmaceutical professionals. It is in everyone's interest that medicines are safe and effective. It is not credible to imply that health care professionals are easy victims to an industry that readily fools them with its marketing tactics. Many physician leaders find it condescending to be considered so malleable to “marketing exercises,” and it is offensive to suggest they cannot conduct an ethical exchange with industry. Despite strong differences between doctors and drug companies, now is surely a critical time to determine how to establish and nourish authentic alliances between these professionals.
In my view the nascent moves towards disentanglement witnessed in recent years—in hospitals, universities, and professional associations—will only intensify, as new disclosure regimes attract even more public attention to these unhealthy relationships. Visits by “sexy” sales representatives, drug-sponsored continuing medical education, or scientific conferences in exotic locations could very quickly become laughable images of a bygone era.
A pretty interesting read! Click here to access this article.

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