In this article, “Study Says Clinical Guides Often Hide Ties of Doctors,” written by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, she writes about the conflict of interest when drug companies financially support doctors. This topic does discuss a potentially dangerous problem for patients. What if a doctor prescribes a drug that might be not the most appropriate in order to get the financial kickback? If doctors were to be influenced by drug companies it could change the integrity of healthcare as we know it.
Drug companies offer doctors all kinds of perks for using their products. For instance they pay for conferences and provide money for studies. Many of the studies that have been done use the drugs from the pharmaceutical company underwriting it. This poses a problem because inevitably some companies have more money than others do, and with this money these companies would be able to pay for more conferences and studies thus receiving more attention. Often the findings of studies are published in medical journals which results in publicity for the products tested. One problem that arises with this is that if the doctor is receiving substantial funding for doing the study, the money may sway the doctor to be more complimentary to the product than what is actually necessary. This might edge that pharmaceutical companys competition from the forefront of the medical world thus making fewer options. With so many different people with different genetic make-ups in the world we need as many options of drugs as possible.
There is a movement of medical professionals who intend to tighten the guidelines for ties between the pharmaceutical and doctors. This might help there to be more unbiased medical research. Although it seems next to impossible to stop drug companies from funding doctors, if there are rules instated it may lead to a better healthcare system.
The issues dealt with in this article are difficult and serious ones. If drug companies continue to financially subsidize doctors it may compromise our healthcare system. It is appropriate for there to be media attention on the subject. And it is necessary for there to be guidelines set.