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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 16950

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: Electronic Source

Silverman E
NAMI Runs A Survey On Pharma Funding
Pharmalot 2009 Dec 15

Full text:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is on the defensive. After reports that most donations made to the big advocacy group came from drug makers in recent years, NAMI agreed to disclose its funding sources. The disclosure, however, came after protracted criticism of NAMI for coordinating lobbying efforts with drug makers and pushing legislation that also benefits the pharma industry.
The embarassing episode prompted NAMI’s executive director, Michael Fitzpatrick, to acknowledge industry donations were excessive and that things would change (see funding sources here). Meanwhile, board member Richard Lamb resigned over the issue, complaining little was changing, saying NAMI’s dependence on drugmakers made some actions impossible, such as warning against the use of some mental health drugs with life-threatening side effects (see here and scroll down).
Now, NAMI is conducting a survey to gauge public sentiment about such things as corporate funding, transparency and openness, and the perception these issues have on its ability to do what it does best. You can look at the survey here (sorry for the link, but just do a cut and paste). One has to wonder, though, why some survey questions are necessary when the issue has been so controversial. If enough participants say they’re not bothered by corporate ties, will NAMI backpeddal on its promised changes?
Hat tip to Furious Seasons


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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