Monday, March 7, 2011

And Another Defense of the Medicine-Pharma Status Quo...

Back over to Health Care Renewal, this time from Dr. Roy Poses, commenting on a Medscape piece by a surgeon, Dr. Frank J. Veith. As you need to be a Medscape subscriber to access the original, see Dr. Poses' post at

Dr. Veith is highly exercised about busybodies like us pharmascolds who would mess up the cozy financial relationships between the drug industry and docs. So he writes a piece that's virtually a Xerox copy (says Dr. Poses) of a bunch of pieces that have been published over the past 5 or so years. All, he says, contain the same logical fallacies and the same insistence on the huge benefits of taking cash from Pharma, and the dire dangers of ceasing to do so, with nary a hint of evidence to back up the claims.

Given what we know about the prevalence of industry ghostwriting in the scientific literature, one has to wonder--is it just that these pharmapologists are an unimaginative bunch and can think of nothing new or fresh to say? Or is it that the industry hacks are writing this stuff for them, and the same draft keeps circulating?

1 comment:

Roy M. Poses MD said...

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that they have been heavily influenced by the same talking-points circulated by the drug/ device/ biotech industries' public relations machine.

I strongly suggest reading Wendell Potter's Deadly Spin about how the health care insurance/ managed care companies' PR machines have influenced policy through a "third party" strategy, that is, essentially by using paid key opinion leaders, patient advocacy groups, and professional societies to influence policy (as opposed to their more familiar use as marketers).

I suspect drug/ device/ biotech uses the same PR strategies to further their policy objectives.

However, we yet to have a defector like Potter spill the beans about those companies.