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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
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Are Pharmaceutical Companies Buying Med Students?

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The Injuryboard blogs have spent a lot of time on the many issues involving pharmaceutical companies. How they were controlling FDA actions, writing their own bills in congress, and most recently lost in Wyeth v. Levine. But, a recent American Medical Student Association (AMSA) finding may be even more startling. Harvard Medical School was found to have of it’s 8,900 professors and lecturers, 1,600 admit that either they or a family member have had some kind of business link to drug companies — sometimes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars . Additionally, pharma contributed more than $11.5 million to the school last year for research and continuing-education classes.

If they are getting the doctors young and controlling what they learn what does that do for the patient? How do local med schools stack up in the AMSA report cards? The advocacy group has assembled an easy-to-navigate web site that tracks schools and that is search able in numerous ways, including by state and city. With recent information that doctors will be disclosing what they are receiving from these companies, this study clearly suggests that these disclosures may not be early enough.

These hidden deals are clearly a cause for great concern. For those who don’t think so, ask yourself why was Harvard so embarrassed by these disclosures? It’s vital that full disclosure take place and patients be given all of the information they need about what may be behind the pharmaceutical Oz.