Self-Interests and Disinterest in Science and the Patient’s Best Interests
Do you actually believe that articles written in medical journals, particularly about medications, that your doctor reads and that the science reporter on radio or TV broadcasts to the nation all are based on the facts and interpretation of the facts obtained by independent and unbiased researchers? If so, you, as patients and even we, as doctors, are sadly misinformed. Just read this article "How Great Researchers Get By-lines, Get Paid, and Get Medicine in Trouble" by Kate Jirik in the Hastings Center Bioethics Forum to get a perspective of the extent pharmaceutical companies and medical education companies are using the authority of the names of prominent and respected researchers to publish articles in prominent and respected medical journals all to promote their own goal of getting physicians to prescribe and patients to accept (and pay for) their drugs. This behavior increases the pharmaceutical company profits presumably with little regard to science, reputations, patient benefit and the social costs of medical care. And the sad part is that this behavior on the part of these companies and those researchers who are willing to get money just for their names to be attached to a “ghost written by pharmaceutical company” medical article is that it is not being substantially prevented by prompt disclosure,legal or administrative action. If physicians cannot have faith in medical research information as provided by the medical journals or other medical education resources, we will not deserve the trust of our patients who depend on us to “know and do” the right thing for them.
Go and read the article and then return and let me hear from you about this important but not well publicized aspect of medical care. ..Maurice.