PHARMA: Shocking revelations

Says here (“here” being a long mea culpa article by a psychiatrist and former agent of Wyeth in the NY Times) that some doctors get paid by drug companies to give talks to other doctors about drugs, and that not only do they use studies that make those drugs look better than others, but that if they start pointing out the flaws of their sponsors drugs in their talks, then the money dries up.

My word…

I guess repeating a point is OK. But it’s not as if John Abramson, Marcia Angell et al haven’t beaten this to death. Yup, we can’t trust doctors not to be both naive and greedy (as the NY Times correspondent points out).

But there are two counterpoints. First is the informal one from other doctors, such as the newsletter that the physician in question now puts out, debunking dodgy research. I think we’re going to see much more of this in the future.

The second unfortunately we’re going to have to wait for—that is purchasers getting serious about physicians’ use of certain drugs when it’s clearly not medically appropriate. And despite lots of clear evidence about that, we’re still waiting. Blaming the drug company for taking advantage is still pointing the finger in, mostly, the wrong direction.

Of course we’ve had this little argument on THCB many times before.

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