It’s interesting that the largest association of Medical Doctors (not psychs) in Wisconsin has just instituted new policies barring its members from accepting gifts from drug companies, following a national trend to limit conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived.
The medical doctors understand that there’s a conflict of interest whenever a doctor takes money or even mugs or a post-it note pad from a drug company.
The psychs will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with this new policy, as many of them make a substantial part of their income from “consulting” with drug companies, paid “speaking engagements” promoting their drugs, and “continuing education” about drugs funded by — who else — the drug companies.
The ban includes the most common gifts to doctors such as food, mugs and pens, as well as reimbursements for travel.
“A complete ban eases the burdens of compliance, biased decisino-making, and patient distrust,” says the new policy implemented by the Wisconsin Medical Society, the largest association of doctors in Wisconsin.
It’s about time. It’s not enough — all other states need similar policies in place.
The University of Minnesota Medical School has proposed a new conflict-of-interest policy so strict that doctors won’t be able to accept even post-it notes bearing a drug company’s logo.
All personal gifts from the drug companies and medical device manufacturers (sorry to see them lumped with the likes of Eli Lily, but if the prosthetic shoe fits…) will be banned. And free drug samples will be limited. Doctor’s consulting relationships with the drug companies would be disclosed both to patients and the public, and those financial ties would be monitored far more closely. Big Pharma is not going to be amused.
This new policy in Minnesota is “really putting policies in place that would, as best as possible, ensure the patient’s best interest,” according to Dr. Leo Furcht, co-chairman of the task force recommending the rules, and chairman of the U of Minnesota’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. You can just smell Dr. Furcht’s disgust with psychiatrists at the University, who prescribe dangerous mind-altering drugs based on their whimsical diagnoses and personal prejudices, and who have no actual lab tests to prove any of their brain chemistry imbalance mumbo-jumbo.
There are no such tests, as any psych will tell you. It’s all subjective, so in reality, any diagnosed mental illness exists only in the mind of the psychiatrist who diagnoses it.
The more you find out about how psychiatrists really work and their plans for our future, the more disgusted you will get. A visit to the “Psychiatry: an Industry of Death Museum” will, more than likely, turn any amusement you feel toward the “bumbling do-gooders” in psychiatry into disgust and outrage at their mistreatment of their patients. You can find out about the Industry of Death Museum from CCHR.
Great article. It is great that the medical profession has begun to see the light. I’m glad to see that there are ethical people in the medical field who are sick to death of the having the drug companies throw money at them while yelling, “prescribe my drug, prescribe my drug.”
Medicine should be about the benefiting the patient and giving the patient the treatment he or she needs. It should not be about helping drug companies make a fast buck.
I happened across your blog today while surfing the net and wanted to comment on a technical point in your blog article. I’m a registered nurse and wanted to make a comment on your use of of the term “medical doctor.” By your use of the term, a reader might get the impression that psychiatrists are not physicians (“medical doctor”). By law, all psychiatrists are physicians (“medical doctors”). There’s no other way to do it. In order to be a psychiatrist in the US, a person first has to go to medical school, get a medical degree, THEN specialize in psychiatry. This is not true, of course, for psychologists and other types of mental health workers. Many psychiatrists are members of the AMA and other well known medical associations, as they are physicians. Regardless of how you feel about the practice of psychiatry, psychiatrists are physicians and “medical doctors.” When you say, “…the largest association of Medical Doctors (not psychs) in Wisconsin…” you are not being quite accurate because the medical association of which you are speaking probably has many psychiatrists as members, as most large medical associations do. As you share your views on psyciatry, it would be more accurate, and fair, to use some other terminology to separate psychiatrists from other types of physicians. I realize that medical education and terms are sometimes confusing so I thought I’d share this comment.
Thanks for pointing that out Ray. The distinction I was trying to make is that not all medical doctors are psychs. Further, I’d like to say that psychiatrists should be held to the same standards as medical doctors. If they are going to put forth theories about the causes of various mental illnesses, they need proof — lab tests — to back it up.
Psychiatrists may have to have a degree showing they are medical doctors, but psychs run their practices, and evaluate their patients, based only on their opinions. They’ve left the land of science far behind and now live in the land of pseudo-science.
Ask any psychiatrist and they will gleefully tell you that they do not have any lab tests that prove a “brain chemical imbalance”, on which the entire rationale for their drugging of millions of school children in the US alone depends.
My point was that medical doctors need to take more responsibility to rein in their fellows in the psychiatric industry who have gone astray from real medicine and are drugging people for profit, betraying them in the name of help.
How does one find out if their Dr. is working for a drug company? Thank you
Good question. You could ask your doctor to disclose any relationships he or she has with drug companies.
In the long run, support legislation that requires public disclosure of drug company ties to doctors. This kind of open-air disclosure is what is required. Drug companies should be required to disclose all payoffs — er, I meant “contributions” — to all doctors, online, where it can be searched.