By Gary Pepper, M.D.
A survey by metabolism.com reveals that a vast majority of the public believe doctors in the US are overly influenced in their decisions by the pharmaceutical industry. 500 visitors to the website participated in the survey. 419 (84%) answered yes to the question, “Do you feel that US doctors’ decisions are overly influenced by pharmaceutical industry money?” 56 (11%) were not sure, and only 20 (4%) voted no to this question.
Recent events in the medical community would support those who voted “yes” to this question. A study from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill just published in the authoritative, JAMA Oncology journal found, “Nearly 9 out of 10 physicians and researchers who helped develop a leading set of cancer-care guidelines in the United States reported financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries” https://pharmacy.unc.edu/study-finds-links-physicians-setting-cancer-care-guidelines-drug-industry/ . The study’s lead author, Aaron Mitchell, M.D., went on to say, “The prevalence of financial relationships was fairly high among physicians who authored these cancer treatment guidelines. Knowing this, it will be important to ask whether those relationships influence the recommendations that guideline authors make,”
Another medical field in the spot light for an astoundingly high percentage of policy makers receiving money from pharmaceutical companies is that of diabetes treatment. Last year the key organization of diabetes specialists, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist (AACE) published new guidelines for the treatment of diabetes. As reported in metabolism.com, of the 34 experts who are listed as having produced the AACE guidelines, all list receiving payment as speakers or consultants from pharmaceutical companies. Of the 5 co-chairmen for the guidelines, all list at least 5 pharmaceutical companies from which money was received and the principle chairman, 15 separate companies.
In this election year, it is important the public demand the candidates address the way the pharmaceutical industry has used its financial clout to gain control over the creation of treatment guidelines by the medical community.
For Donald Trump; https://www.donaldjtrump.com/contact
For Hillary Clinton: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/forms/contact-us/
A suggested comment you can copy and paste into your message; I respectfully ask you to address the problem of pharmaceutical industry control of doctors’ decision making. Start by looking into the large sums of money being paid to top doctors by drug companies.