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Wednesday, 16 April 2008

BIG PHARMA INFLUENCE MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO OUR HEALTH

JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 99, April 6, 2008, includes an article on The Adverse Effects of Industry Influence.

The article starts with the following disturbing facts that we have consistently been bringing to your attention for the past 3 years:

The profession of medicine, in every aspect—clinical, education, and research—has been inundated with profound influence from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. This has occurred because physicians have allowed it to happen, and it is time to stop.

It is a long read but well worth our time in order to understand how important it is to second guess our physician and do our own research and analysis for any medication or procedure he/she prescribed. Our doctor is probably part of the majority of honest and dedicated professionals, but our medical system being what it is, he/she simply doesn’t have the time to read and analyze every study, the possible conflict of interest of its funders and the integrity of the researchers conducting the studies. As responsible citizens, it is our duty to adequately document ourselves before we agree to chemical or surgical treatment.

Without being overly alarmist or paranoid and until our elected officials put their energies and our taxes where it really counts and clean house on such unethical, if not outright fraudulent practices that are a true hazard to our health, each and everyone of us should get educated so that we may make informed choices for our well-being.

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