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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 10092

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Mansfield PR.
The illusion of invulnerability
BMJ 2007 May 19; 334:(7602):1020
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/334/7602/1020-c


Abstract:

Kent claims that patient groups are not naive, value their independence fiercely, and are quite capable of spotting the strings that may be attached to funding.1 Many doctors have similar overconfident beliefs about invulnerability to being misled by drug companies.2 This illusion of invulnerability actually increases vulnerability.3

In the 1840s doctors did not understand the risk of invisible microbes so were offended by the suggestion they should wash their hands. We are now going through a similar paradigm shift towards understanding the risk of invisible unintended bias from exposure to industry influence techniques. These techniques include manipulation of reciprocal obligation, which can occur without our awareness.4 Patient groups tend to reciprocate by lobbying governments to pay for overpriced drugs rather than lobbying the companies to reduce their prices.

Funding for patient groups could be increased and the alleged problems with government funding reduced by abolishing patents . . .

Keywords:
Letter


Notes:

Comment on:
Should patient groups accept money from drug companies? Yes
Alastair Kent
BMJ 2007 334: 934.

 

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You are going to have many difficulties. The smokers will not like your message. The tobacco interests will be vigorously opposed. The media and the government will be loath to support these findings. But you have one factor in your favour. What you have going for you is that you are right.
- Evarts Graham
See:
When truth is unwelcome: the first reports on smoking and lung cancer.