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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 1646

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

Brodkey AC.
The role of the pharmaceutical industry in teaching psychopharmacology: a growing problem.
Acad Psychiatry 2005 Sum; 29:(2):222-9
http://ap.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/29/2/222


Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To describe and examine the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the teaching of psychopharmacology to residents and medical students and to make recommendations for changes in curriculum and policy based on these findings.

METHODS: Literature reviews and discussions with experts, educators, and trainees.

RESULTS: The pharmaceutical industry currently plays an extensive role in teaching psychopharmacology to trainees, both directly and indirectly. Attendance at industry-sponsored lectures and drug lunches, meetings with pharmaceutical representatives, and interactions involving the acceptance of various gifts are the most obvious venues. Less apparent but equally pervasive are the influence of industry-sponsored faculty and research and industry’s effect on the climate of practice and the profession as a whole. Replacing medical education with industry promotion in the guise of scholarship causes demonstrable harm to trainees, the public, and the profession.

CONCLUSIONS: In light of these findings, the medical profession must reassert control of medical education and draw a firm barrier between commercial and professional pursuits. These issues must be actively, explicitly, and rigorously discussed with our colleagues and students.

 

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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909