NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - https://archive.org/web/.

“Our medical schools must not become shills for big pharma”

A commentary in the Globe and Mail today, “Our medical schools must not become shills for big pharma,” begins:

“Most Canadians might be surprised to learn that medical students in Canada are routinely taught by faculty who have financial ties, and work in partnership, with drug companies. Conflict of interest (COI) policies at medical schools are important to ensure that students get an unbiased education based on the best available clinical evidence, free of industry-sponsored, commercially-driven information. After all, these students go on to become our doctors and we want the best doctors education can provide.”

You could freely substitute “Americans” for “Canadians” in that sentence, and the point would be just as valid.

The commentary reflects on the authors’ co-authorship of a recent paper in the journal PLoS One, “Too Few, Too Weak: Conflict of Interest Policies at Canadian Medical Schools.”   In the commentary, the authors explain:

“…we examined the COI policies at all 17 medical schools across the country. Our findings reveal a glaring problem, and something that should concern all of us. The majority of medical schools (12 of 17) have generally weak or non-existent COI policies, and four schools had policies that were moderately restrictive. Only one medical school – Western University – had stringent COI rules.

In other words, the bulk of our doctors-in-training in Canada are receiving health information that is potentially biased and misleading.”

In the US, the American Medical Student Association for years has offered an online “PharmFree Scorecard,” tracking conflict of interest policies at academic medical centers. Poke around. You might need some drugs after you read your local scorecard.


————————–

Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/garyschwitzer

https://twitter.com/healthnewsrevu

You might also like

Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.

Comments are closed.