Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Your doc may have a hidden agenda
…Writing in the WSJ, November 20, 2007, David Armstrong reports on how doctors are being asked or required to reveal their “side jobs” as they apply to medical devices or medications.
…In the Wayback, HA subcontracted to a continuing medical education firm that set up conferences for a big drug company. Each conference featured an ailment addressed by the company’s products—and of course, the products were prominently mentioned and explained.
…Funny--HA can’t remember other companies’ competing projects getting any play at all.
…The doctors who tested these products for the company were the speakers and were paid beaucoup bucks. Shocker, what?
…Armstrong uses the example of a doctor installing artificial shoulders—he helped invent the shoulder, but does not get a royalty on those he does himself. Still, he told patients about his connection with the company.
…Two states—Minnesota and Vermont—have laws requiring pharmcos to report payments to doctors.
…There also is a bill in Congress requiring companies to list doctors who get more than $25.
…The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons will require, starting in January, that surgeons tell patients about financial ties.
…You can already see if they have ties to the top orthopedic equipment companies by going to those companies’websites.
…One patient advocate isn’t sure patients should brace their docs about these arrangments (the word “kickback” was used in the story).
…Patients should not have to question these physicians! The professional associations and the physicians themselves should make these relationships clear—then patients can decide if they are getting the best drug or device.
...Or just the one the physician is pushing, for whatever reason.