Angry Doctor

Friday, July 14, 2006

Big Pharma 2, angry doc 1

Readers who visit Dr Crippen's blog will realise that angry doc is a fan and an occasional 'commenter' (what do you call someone who comments on a blog entry?).

Here's an article on the subject of objectivity of medical journals (by a former editor of the BMJ) recommended by a fellow reader/'commenter' there.


"... the editors are likely to favour randomised trials. Many journals publish few such trials and would like to publish more: they are, as I've said, a superior form of evidence. The trials are also likely to be clinically interesting. Other reasons for publishing are less worthy. Publishers know that pharmaceutical companies will often purchase thousands of dollars' worth of reprints, and the profit margin on reprints is likely to be 70%. Editors, too, know that publishing such studies is highly profitable, and editors are increasingly responsible for the budgets of their journals and for producing a profit for the owners. Many owners—including academic societies—depend on profits from their journals. An editor may thus face a frighteningly stark conflict of interest: publish a trial that will bring US$100 000 of profit or meet the end-of-year budget by firing an editor."

Maybe angry doc should stop asking drug reps for free copies of trial reprints too?

I swear, the more I learn about the healthcare business, the harder it is for me to sleep at night...



  • Think of it this way. This applies to every field and profession in the whoe world isn't it?

    It's all about money and personal gain (indirect or direct).

    It's just the way it is. All this talk about hipporactic oath and ethics and honesty blah blah's nice but it's really just a charade.

    Of course some people go to extents of censoring and firing and intimidating to make sure the facade remains the way they like it :wink:

    By Blogger Dr Oz bloke, At July 14, 2006 6:27 pm  

  • Well I salute the angry doc :)who passionately pursues the ideals :) I am sure you can make up for whatever misinformation with your clinical experience and constant commitment to provide the best healthcare for the patient.

    By Blogger palmist, At July 15, 2006 12:48 pm  

  • Thanks palmist - I wish I could be as optimistic as you though. :)

    The principles behind Evidence-based Medicine and randomised trials are sound, but as in all human activities the possibility of profits will always invite corruption. I guess most doctors have medical journals tagged as 'non-partisan' in their minds; it's unfortunate we cannot depend on them for unbiased evidence anymore.

    By Blogger angry doc, At July 15, 2006 1:42 pm  

  • Blog Buddy, Fellow Blogger, nosey voyer?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 15, 2006 11:27 pm  

  • To put it simply its about fulfilling your own conscience and bringing the bacon home. If you can do both, you are alright..provided you have a conscience.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 18, 2006 11:22 am  

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