Which drugs are actually killing Americans? Popular Science combed through overdose statistics from the CDC and turned the numbers into an infographic.
In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court voted to protect pharmaceutical companies from liability when their vaccines cause debilitating injuries and death. The high court majority considers vaccines “unavoidably unsafe” and was worried about drug makers being sued and obligated to compensate their vaccine victims.
Instead of opting to protect children, the Supreme Court chose to safeguard the financial interests of the multi-billion dollar vaccine industry..
Seriously!? Wow, just wow..
Read more at: Natural News
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable in the United States. A distinctive feature of this business is its dependence on physicians to recommend its prescription products. This necessity is underscored by the promotional budget of pharmaceutical companies, over $33 billion (data from 2004), mostly targeted at physicians, and medical education.
We as medical students are extensively exposed to drug company marketing. In one such study of 826 third-year students at eight medical schools, students claimed to either receive a gift, or attend a sponsored lunch at-least once weekly on average.
This is problematic for several reasons:
- Such extensive exposure will likely continue after graduation.
- The drug company-physician interaction presents information favoring the sponsor’s product and increases the likelihood for prescribing that product.
- The resulting prescribing may be inconsistent with evidence-based guidelines — or when samples are available or patients make requests based on direct-to-consumer advertising — against the physician’s better judgement.
- Physicians who interact with industry are more likely than their counterparts to make formulary requests for drugs with no clear advantage over existing ones, prescribe non-rationally (i.e., not appropriate or effective for the patient’s symptom or disease, not safe, or not in the right dose or duration), and prescribe costlier drugs and fewer generic drugs.
This further contributes to the problem that most medical students and physicians deny they could be influenced by drug company promotions. I believe, us as medical students have not been taught sufficiently about drug company-physician interaction.
So, tell me — does your medical school have a policy on industry relationships?
And, why is this so important? Well, having no policy allows unregulated interaction with the industry that has the potential to introduce bias into our education and our medical decision-making. Even the appearance of such bias is ethically compromising. The public is concerned about conflicts of interest and we should be too, since we are accountable to our patients!
What can we do? We as medical students — need to write and implement a strong policy that prevents pharmaceutical marketing efforts from inappropriately influencing our medical education and practice.