Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can The Relationship Between Doctors And Drug Companies Ever Be A Healthy One?

Date:
July 21, 2009
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Should the financial ties between doctors and drug companies be completely cut, or are healthy alliances between the two possible with the common aim of improving human health? A debate in PLoS Medicine discusses whether the influence of drug company money on doctors is always a corrupting one.

Should the financial ties between doctors and drug companies be completely cut, or are healthy alliances between the two possible with the common aim of improving human health? A debate in PLoS Medicine discusses whether the influence of drug company money on doctors is always a corrupting one.

The relationship between doctors and drug companies has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent years, with some commentators arguing that the public health mission of doctors is incompatible with the pharmaceutical industry motive to maximize profits for shareholders. Emma D'Arcy – the co-founder of myphid.com, an international networking site that allows healthcare workers and the pharmaceutical industry to communicate in a transparent way – disagrees that relationship is fundamentally incompatible.

She suggests that "authentic alliances" between doctors and the drug industry can be formed with the common aim of improving human health and safe and effective medicines. Pointing out that the drug industry remains an important source of funding for scientific meetings and continuing medical education, she outlines three ways in which healthy collaboration can be encouraged without needing to further regulate the industry. These include: teaching medical professionals to distinguish between clinical information and promotional material; ensuring transparency from both parties through networking sites such as myphid.com; and encouraging industry and doctors to follow an "everyday credo" to make sure interactions ultimately benefit the care of people living with disease and further medical scientific understanding.

Ray Moynihan of the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, argues that transparency is not enough to ensure that physicians' prescribing behaviour is not distorted by pharmaceutical influence. He cites evidence collected on the site of the non-profit group Healthy Skepticism (healthyskepticism.org), including a systematic review demonstrating that studies sponsored by pharmaceutical companies were more likely to have outcomes favouring their sponsor, and calls for the medical profession to disentangle itself completely from the money it accepts from the pharmaceutical industry.

He highlights the case of pharmaceutical industry distortion of continuing medical education, in particular the ability of doctors to gain professional credits and company sponsored events. Giving examples of education for doctors in Australia where sponsors have even determined topics and speakers for seminars, he concludes that there should be a complete ban on all industry funding of continuing medical education, whether direct or indirect. Complete disentanglement is a healthier alternative, argues Moynihan, and strategies such as the American Medical Student Associations "PharmFree" campaign, which has advocated the severing of financial ties, prefigure "a future where fewer doctors will be prescribing under the influence of industry."

Emma Darcy received no specific funding to write this article. Ray Moynihan received a commissioning fee from PLoS to write his Viewpoint.

Emma Darcy is the co-founder of myphid.com, an international professional networking site for the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community. She has worked with many pharmaceutical companies, medical societies, and medical education communication companies and is a supporter of open and transparent interactions between all. Ray Moynihan has declared that he has no competing interests.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D'Arcy E, Moynihan R. Can the Relationship between Doctors and Drug Companies Ever Be a Healthy One? PLoS Med, 6(7): e1000075 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000075

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Can The Relationship Between Doctors And Drug Companies Ever Be A Healthy One?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720202559.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2009, July 21). Can The Relationship Between Doctors And Drug Companies Ever Be A Healthy One?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720202559.htm
Public Library of Science. "Can The Relationship Between Doctors And Drug Companies Ever Be A Healthy One?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720202559.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins