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The drug industry spends nearly twice as much on promotion as it does on research and development, and historically one of their key targets has been physicians. There are drug reps whose sole responsibility is to "educate" physicians about new drugs, a practice that includes lavish gifts, dinners and trips as persuasive perks.
As journalist Ray Moynihan recently reported in the British Medical Journal: "Just as many doctors contemplate an end to their dance with drug company marketers, a fresh new crew is stepping lively onto the floor: journalists and media organizations looking for easy ways to fund their reporting, travel, and education. The BMJ reported … that the Murdoch empire's flagship newspaper in Australia has accepted an undisclosed amount of sponsorship money from the drug industry for a series of articles on health policy—and that the idea arose from a meeting between advertising agents. Defending the deal, the Australian's editor said that independence and integrity were maintained; but as others pointed out, this new form of financial closeness between journalists and the companies they scrutinise raises real concerns."
Firstly Domo1, you write some of the most intriguing posts with intelligent analyses and I always look forward to opening a new one from you.
Our health hinges on medical objectivity, and as it has waned, so has our health.
It's frightening to think that the media is no longer objective in regard to our health. I really think there ought to be some rules regarding this.