Thursday, April 19, 2007

Simplistic thinking about conflicts of interest

I’ve commented before about simplistic and one sided thinking concerning conflicts of interest in the medical profession. Medical Progress Today has published a symposium which takes a more skeptical, nuanced look at the issue. The introduction says this: “The fiduciary standards companies owe their shareholders are surely compatible with producing the highest quality products and research possible given existing technologies. Companies that made products that routinely harmed patients or produced deceptive marketing materials for physicians would find themselves punished by investors, physicians, courts and regulators in very short order.” Drug company marketing is biased and yes, there are potential conflicts of interest, but in the final analysis they have an interest in good patient outcomes. I’ll be covering some of the individual articles in this series in future posts.

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