Pharmacutical industry’s relationship with the health service

Copied from an old web page so it doesn’t vanish:

  • The Inaugural Conference on Disease Mongering – essays from which are over here
  • Anecdotal evidence: even JHOs are invited out to lunch by drug reps. Correction: “Not just lunch – DINNER. Three-course dinner at a posh restaurant, with copious alcohol (for the non-drivers) and alcoholic coffees after dessert.” Apparently this has been the fourth such dinner in three months.
  • Ghost writers: apparently it’s common for researchers in industry to write articles for publication and get respected clinicians to sign them, sometimes giving the clinician incentive (money, etc) to ignore any incorrect or misleading content about a drug’s effectiveness.

    “”… In June, when the finished manuscript arrived in the post, it had been … ‘significantly altered’. And a sentence had been added, saying that venlafaxine ‘may induce full remission in a greater number of patients’. Dr Healy took strong exception to this statement.

    “…’The problem isn’t the adverts, the problem isn’t the trips to the Caribbean,” he said. “We are influenced by articles in journals.'”

    “‘I can think of a well-known British psychiatrist I met and I said, ‘How are you?’ He said, ‘What day is it? I’m just working out what drug I’m supporting today.'””