This article is dated, (November 2009), but seems still relevant, if not seriously more-so.
There are always two sides to a story and often the conventional and popular side needs to be critically appraised.
There is ample evidence of profits, ego and even survival, (personal or corporate), overriding the truth.
When public health is the issue, this scrutiny is all the more important, if not vital. This is not just a question of some harm resulting from a greater good, it trends to absolute corruption and needs to be made known.
“No one knows the total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate from the annual reports of the top 9 U.S.-based drug companies that it comes to tens of billions of dollars a year in North America alone. By such means, the pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous control over how doctors evaluate and use its own products. Its extensive ties to physicians, particularly senior faculty at prestigious medical schools, affect the results of research, the way medicine is practiced, and even the definition of what constitutes a disease.”
Revelations like this from medical profession insiders cast serious doubt on more than what’s printed on the pages of these medical journals.
- The Sunshine Act: What’s it all about? (doctorrw.blogspot.com)
- The Road toward Fully Transparent Medical Records – NEJM (healthcarereimagined.wordpress.com)
- NEJM Sheds Light On Payments To Doctors (forbes.com)
- NEJM study exposes overuse of radiation therapy when urologists profit from self-referral (eurekalert.org)
Originally posted on The Ethical Nag:
Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Marcia Angell is the author of The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. But more to the point, she’s also the former Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine, arguably one of the most respected medical journals on earth. But after reading her article in the New York Review of Books called Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption, one wonders if any medical journal on earth is worth anybody’s respect anymore.
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”
Dr. Angell cites the case of Dr. Joseph L. Biederman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and chief of pediatric psychopharmacology at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital. She explains: