Saturday, June 28, 2008

Medical Ethics: Conflict of Interest

Thanks to Jim Gatos for pointing me to this article: Are Perks Compromising MD Ethics?. Here is the video (forgive the ad that it starts with.)

Of course the answer to the question, "Are perks compromising MD Ethics?" is clearly, "Yes!" And it's "Yes!" to the tune of $57 billion a year. That means the drug companies are spending more on corrupting doctors than they are on any other form of marketing.

And consider this: if they can afford to spend $57 billion on perks and "consulting" fees to doctors then how much are they making from these drugs?

Now don't get me wrong, drugs have their place. If a person is dying of cancer and needs a strong pain killer to help make their last few days bearable then I say give 'em the drug. If someone just had a major operation and needs a pain killer then go ahead. But I call it criminal when a doctor prescribes highly addictive drugs such as Oxycodone or Methadone when the patient does not need such dangerous medication and the doctor prescribes them simply because one drug company gives him better perks or more money than another.

That may have been the case in the video and the result was the death of a 12-year-old girl.

I think it's time Congress acted and the proposed law on disclosure of payments to doctors by drug companies should be passed as soon as possible.

What do you think?

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