Posted by Jean Silver-Isenstadt, MD, PhD, NPA Executive Director February 7, 2012 at 11:00 PM
One of our core efforts at the National Physicians Alliance is to restore trust and integrity in medicine by eliminating conflicts of interest between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. An important opportunity is before us.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services is working on new regulations requiring drug companies and manufactures of medical devices to disclose payments made to doctors for speaking, research, travel, entertainment, and consulting. The NPA strongly supports these regulations. As part of our Unbranded Doctor campaign, we are working to shed light on the corrupting influence of drug company payments to doctors.
As medical professionals we have a unique and important role to play in countering the voices of industry and parts of the medical establishment and ensuring that regulators know that many doctors support rules like these to return trust and integrity to our profession. Consider the impact these types of payments have had:
- According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 94% of physicians accept gifts, payments, reimbursements or other financial incentives from the pharmaceutical industry.
- Numerous studies have demonstrated that such gifts and payments directly influence medical decision-making.
- It has become difficult for physicians to find and distinguish legitimate, evidence-based sources of medical information from biased, industry-influenced sources.
- The very distinction between marketing and education has been blurred.
This is our house to clean.