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Big Pharma in Academia

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, July 01, 2010 12:40 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Conflict-of-Interest, Pharmaceutical Industry, Doctors, Drugs, Pharmaceuticals, Emory, Harvard, Nemeroff, Biederman


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Image Source: Wiki Careers Web site / medical class

Mother Jones, and specifically James Ridgeway, reports on the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. and its ubiquitous push into the hearts and minds of the medical profession.

Besides pens and lunch, spa retreats and big screen televisions, Big Pharma has a role in educating doctors, specifically, continuing-education programs.

With about $2 billion spent on these programs a year, half coming from the pharmaceutical industry, Ridgeway reports the "education" becomes an opportunity to push new drugs.

Georgetown University discussed the issue at its “Prescription for Conflict” conference last week.

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman has long been a critic of the relationship and helped found PharmedOut.org with Ridgeway. It educates the public on the potential conflict-of-interest when doctors are educated by drug makers.

FDA deputy commissioner, Joshua Sharfstein, attended the conference as did Julie Taitsman of the HHS, who presented a list of laws that protect the public.

An investigator with Sen. Charles Grassley’s office told the doctors to come to grips with the conflicts of interest that exist that hurt patient care.

A statement from an anonymous “pharmaceutical executive,” said that continuing medical education “has the potential for inappropriate promotional messaging and influence.”

This anonymous person said that the sales and marketing departments of pharmaceutical companies are making the decision to fund continuing medical education. “Friendly institutions” are most likely to receive grant money.

Ridgeway talks more about this on his blog, Unsilent Generation.

IB News has reported on millions given to doctors at Emory University and Harvard University and the conflicts that presented in patient care. #


2 Comments

Posted by Paulita Abou-Aly
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 8:25 PM EST

Yes! An honest evaluation of Pharmaceutics's role in medical academia and health solutions. The truth nearly died in 1897 when the AMA was formed. The historical Pharmacopoeia books by 1862, had already began eliminating the most useful of the naturally occurring herbal medicines. What began in earnest ended in new deception. I believe it was during this time, the great United States of America became an outsourcing of the truth.

Anonymous User
Posted by Joan Petty
Monday, August 02, 2010 11:09 PM EST

Conflict of interest is not the word for bribes and push to influence the medical professionals on what pills they should push. As a doctor they should be concerned with the consumers and their health. but the big money and the perks they are given is something far beyond anyones information. How about the state of the art office redone and new equiptment provided, Government Grants and all expenses paid vacations. Dinner for the office staff and much more.Pfizer's employees and other drug companies recommending fast track drugs to the FDA so they can get them on the market without testing or scientific reports. These prescription drug companies get each other to approve their drugs as experts in their field so they can get them on the market and make lots of profits. The conflict of interest is that there is no law to prosecute a prescription drug company that kills or injures any consumers with a defective drug. Congress prempted the law and there is NO Law in the United States. Drug Companies are shielded by law so they can get away with anything.

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