Sunday, March 30, 2008

Doctors dining on pharma's 'free lunch'; Continuing education of Canada's doctors 'a broken system'

From the Niagara Falls (Ont.)Review:
The system that keeps working doctors abreast of medical developments is too reliant on drug company funding and organization and needs an overhaul, the Canadian Medical Organization Journal said in an editorial published this week.

The strongly worded editorial, written by the journal's editor-in-chief, said giving drug companies such control over the continuing medical education of doctors distorts medical practice and compromises the ethical underpinnings of the profession.

The author, Dr. Paul Hebert, placed much of the blame on doctors themselves, saying they have developed a sense of entitlement to the lavish perks often paired with continuing medical education programs - things like tickets to the ballet or professional sporting events, cruises or access to exclusive golf courses.

"Over the years, the powerful pharmaceutical enticements have resulted in physicians believing that strong industry involvement is not only normal, but also that they are entitled to receive the benefits. This culture of entitlement is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome," Hebert wrote. ...more

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