Home > ethics, medicine, politics > >Conflict of interest

>Conflict of interest

>The Institute of Medicine has released a report on conflict of interest in medical practice.

Collaborations between physicians or medical researchers and pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies can benefit society—most notably by promoting the discovery and development of new medications and medical devices that improve individual and public health. However, relationships between medicine and industry may create conflicts of interest, potentially resulting in undue influence on professional judgments.

…The committee’s report stresses the importance of preventing bias and mistrust rather than trying to remedy damage after it is discovered. It focuses specifically on financial conflicts of interest involving pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies.

The committee recommends the implementation of policies and procedures that will reduce the risk of conflicts that can jeopardize the integrity of sci­entific investigations, the objectivity of medical education, the quality of patient care, and the public’s trust in medicine.

The New York Times notes the report has stated that doctors, medical schools and hospitals should not accept gifts from pharmaceutical companies.

doctors should stop taking much of the money, gifts and free drug samples they routinely accept from drug and device companies.

And the suggestion is to remove funding from education courses as well

Drug companies spend billions of dollars wooing doctors — more than they spend on research or consumer advertising. Much of this money is spent on giving doctors free drug samples, free food, free medical refresher courses and payments for marketing lectures. The institute’s report recommends that nearly all of these efforts end.

3 brief questions.

  • If medicine was fully privatised would this be as great a concern?
  • While money can be a strong conflict of interest, so is ideology. Do people note competing interests based on philosophical, theological, or political beliefs? Is this a bad thing?
  • Should this be extended to democracy? Should any person receiving financial favours from the government (excluding legitimate work done at governments behest) forfeit their vote? Welfare recipients, subsidised farmers, corporations that have specific laws written for them.
Categories: ethics, medicine, politics
  1. 2009 May 5 at 03:39

    I would gladly give up my right to vote if government employees were disenfranchised as well. In fact, I can say without hesitation, that if that act would disenfranchise them, it would never even cross my mind to consider keeping my right to vote.

  2. 2009 May 5 at 03:41

    I include the military in that as well. Yes, I’m glad that they’re doing their thing, but many of them are not there for public service reasons, and quite frankly, they’re paid so well that I really don’t think what they do can be called sacrifice for the greater good as opposed to a career for their country.

  3. 2009 May 5 at 10:31

    I understand your sentiments Mike. The state being the source of income can be seen as a conflict of interest. The reason for my exclusion: excluding legitimate work done at governments behest; was because it can be difficult to remove oneself from government if it is large. I believe private medicine is not legal in Canada, thus everyone in the health profession is a government employee.
    But when one gets special favours from the government he did not work for, then I think the enticement, and thus the conflict of interest is greater.
    I am not certain I favour removing the vote from those on welfare, just highlighting that conflict of interests are elsewhere, and potentially more significant. Personally I think the age of voting should be increased to 25.

  4. 2009 May 6 at 10:19

    25! that is extreme…
    How will the Bill and Ben party get .5% in the next election if that was the voting age?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: