Saturday, May 19, 2007

Are They Above Reproach?

USA Today reports the following
"By Rita Rubin, USA TODAY
Virtually all doctors in a national survey of six specialties reported some sort of relationship — from free lunches to payments for consulting and lecturing — with medically related industries such as those for drugs or medical devices, a report says today.
Researchers mailed surveys and a $20 check to a random sample of 3,167 practicing anesthesiologists, cardiologists, family practitioners, general surgeons, internists and pediatricians in late 2003 and early 2004. Slightly more than half responded. Among the findings, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine:
•Cardiologists were more than twice as likely as family practitioners to receive payments from industry.
•On average, family practitioners reported meeting 16 times a month with industry reps — the most of any specialty surveyed."
No real surprise there. This has been known for sometime. My question is "Can they make an unbiased and purely scientific or medical decision/recommendation under these circumstances?" Ask yourself that and ask your health professional that same question. See the full article in The New England Journal of Medicine at http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/356/17/1742 "A National Survey of Physician–Industry Relationships".

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