Almost EIGHT years, ago we published an eye-opening report titled Does Your Physician Have a Hidden Conflict of Interest?
In it, we exposed a variety of unsavory medical practices including how articles published in prestigious medical journals are sometimes ghost written by medical writers hired by pharmaceutical or medical-device companies, then published under the names of prominent physicians.
We warned about the potential dangers of being prescribed a drug or procedure that your doctor learned about in one of these “ghosted” articles. Our hope was that over time these practices, once exposed, would disappear.
So you can imagine how ANGRY we were to recently see this headline on the front page of The New York Times—“Broken System Lets Doctors Omit Industry Ties in Journals.”
It was infuriating to discover that the dean of Yale’s medical school and the head of a respected Texas cancer center were among dozens of leading medical figures who failed to report financial relationships with pharmaceutical and health-care companies when their studies were published in renowned medical journals.
The more we learned, the angrier we became! After all, lives are at risk when health practitioners accept the word of world-renowned physicians without knowing that they’re under the influence of the medical industry.
How can you protect yourself? Be skeptical. Look at medical news through the eyes of a skeptic. Ask questions if your doctor mentions research studies while recommending a drug or treatment, and be sure to ask about your doctor’s specific experience with that new drug or procedure.
One of our favorite skeptics, consumer health-care advocate Charles Inlander, can show you How to Make Sense Out of Medical Studies. Read the full article here before you make one more major health-care decision!