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Compromised Health: Medical Researchers Not Disclosing Big Pharma Ties

A new investigation has found that leading doctors and medical researchers are routinely failing to disclose their financial ties to Big Pharma when they publish studies in medical journals.

Dr. Howard A. “Skip” Burris III is the president-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and an especially egregious example, a collaborative article by ProPublica, an investigative journalism non-profit organization, and The New Times states. Burris declared in over 50 articles written in respected medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, that he had no conflicts of interest to report. Yet the company he worked for received nearly $114,000 from pharmaceutical companies “for consulting and speaking” and, get this, “nearly $8 million for his research during the period for which disclosure was required.”

Dr. Robert J. Alpern, dean of the Yale School of Medicine, was so brazen that he wrote an article in a medical journal about an experimental treatment being manufactured by a company that he served on the board of directors of and owned stock in. Alpern mentioned none of this when the article was originally published. He merely said that he had been a consultant for the company.

Comfortably Numb

One would think the obvious conflicts that are bound to arise from these cozy relationships between doctor and pharmaceutical megacorporation would be alarming to the editor of one of the leading medical journals in the nation. Not so. Dr. Howard C. Bauchner, editor in chief of JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, told reporters for the article that verifying every author’s disclosure statements would be too much work. “The vast majority of authors are honest and do want to fulfill their obligations to tell readers and editors what their conflicts of interest could be,” Bauchner explained.

Our leading medical minds have become so blasé about their tainted financial ties to for-profit pharmaceutical conglomerates that Bauchner could make a statement like that without blushing. We’ve all known for a couple decades now that Big Pharma is heavily greasing the pockets of doctors and medical researchers. Yet we are supposed to believe that it’s all being done in the name of good health, with no compromising conflicts finding their way into the local practitioner’s office. Basic human nature should tell us otherwise, yet in our high-tech, pro-progress society, doctors have for too long been seen as something akin to a modern priesthood. Well, there’s mud all over those White Coats and for the sake of their own personal health, patients need to be aware of it.

Profitable Prescriptions

A very handy May article at naturalnews.com serves as an excellent round-up of recent reports of Big Pharma’s control of our medical personnel. It cites another ProPublica investigation from 2016 that found that “[d]octors who got money from drug and device makers – even just a meal – prescribed a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who didn’t.”

Not surprisingly, the analysis found that “[d]octors who received more than $5,000 from companies in 2014 typically had the highest brand-name prescribing percentages.”

And there’s more.

A May article in the Daily Sheeple reports that “[e]ver since the 1980s, more money for medical research has come from Big Pharma than from grants awarded by the NIH. In 2011, Big Pharma spent $39 billion while the NIH only spent $31 billion.”[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”24″]Big Pharma is going out of its way to cultivate medical students.[/perfectpullquote]

That is a staggering amount of money for our medical researchers to receive from sources with a personal profit motive. And Big Pharma is going out of its way to cultivate medical students so it can own our future doctors and medical researchers right out of the gate. Natural News cited a 2011 study that appeared in the PLOS Medicine journal that found that “[u]ndergraduate medical education provides substantial contact with pharmaceutical marketing, and the extent of such contact is associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism about negative implications of these interactions.”

Big Pharma is gobbling up doctors like a corrupt big-time college basketball program buys five-star recruits. It’s pay-for-play, and the health of the patient is clearly not the highest priority. The next time your doctor writes you a prescription, you might want to ask him if he has any kind of connection whatsoever to the company that manufactures those pills you are going to be putting into your body.

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