I am proud of my fellow family physicians who are making their objections loudly known to the American Academy of Family Physicians over the deal with Coke that I addressed a few posts back, according to this new story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091104/ap_on_he_me/us_med_doctors_coke_deal
Sadly, if the responses to this news report from AAFP leadership are accurate, the AAFP still does not get it. "[AAFP CEO Dr. Douglas] Henley said the academy regrets the resignations and hopes other members will not "rush to judgment" before seeing the new content." News flash: we don't need to see the content to know there's something rotten in Denmark. The deal itself raises concerns about the credibility of anything AAFP posts about diet and obesity from now on. Even if the message the AAFP posts condemns sugar-containing soft drinks, no one will ever know if the alternative message, that might have been posted had not Coke funded the program, would have been even more critical. It's the fact that such questions will inevitably be raised, and not what the actual content says, that's the problem.
"Henley said the academy is in talks with other foundation contributors to fund other materials for the group, but he declined to say which ones." Gee, isn't that reassuring. At least when the AMA was caught looking like jerks over their Sunbeam endorsement deal, they pulled out of the deal and heads rolled in AMA top offices. They did not rush out to try to find more commercial firms to sell their soul to.
It's depressing that the AAFP found it possible to jump into bed with Coke in the first place--especially given all the recent publicity calling attention to the risks of commercial bias and entanglements (for just one example, see http://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2008/07/hard-hitting-look-at-medical.html). What's even more depressing is that with the whole world telling them that they mishandled this affair, the AAFP still seems to think that the problem is someone else's.