By Gonzalez-Campoy, Michael
Clinical Psychiatry News , Vol. 37, No. 9
Start with three facts: First, diseases kill people. Treatments, including medications, help to manage and cure diseases.
Second, physicians working with industry have developed and made available most current treatments. This working relationship includes research and development, physician education, and joint monitoring for postmarketing safety. There is tremendous value in this working relationship for science, the practice of medicine, and for patients.
And third, participation in research and development, and education of peers on this research, is part of the legal, moral, and ethical work product of physicians. Payment for the work we do is not a "conflict" of interest. Rather, it represents a commonality of interests which is an integral part of the profession of medicine (Endocr. Pract. 2009;15:289). There is improvement in patient care, advancement of science, and benefit to medicine from these professional activities.
Given these facts, one must question the wisdom of disrupting the physician-industry working relationship. Those who claim that physicians working with industry are immoral, unethical, or corrupt create harm to patients and to medicine. They will cost society not just the public's trust, but also the human costs of hindering research and development and disrupting the expedient implementation of newer, safer, better treatments. …