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The system that keeps working doctors abreast of medical developments is too reliant on drug company funding and needs an overhaul, the Canadian Medical Association Journal said in an editorial published Tuesday.
The strongly worded editorial, written by the journal's editor-in-chief, said giving drug companies such control over the continuing medical education of doctors distorts medical practice and compromises the ethical underpinnings of the profession.
The author places much of the blame on the doctors themselves, saying they have developed a sense of 'entitlement' to the lavish perks often paired with continuing medical education or CME programs--Things like Tickets to the ballet or professional sporting events, cruises, or access to exclusive golf courses.
"Over the years, the powerful pharmaceutical enticements have resulted in physicians believing that strong industry involvement is not only normal but also that they are entitled to receive the benefits. This culture of entitlement is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome," Hebert wrote.
"We seem to have conveniently forgotten that the pharmaceutical industry is in business to make money, not to educate health professionals."