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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19223

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: news

Staton T
Stanford probes docs for paid speeches
Fierce Pharma 2010 Dec 22

Full text:

Stanford University Medical School is investigating 12 doctors for possible violations of its ban against paid speaking gigs for pharma. The school’s disciplinary board is looking at payments listed in a ProPublica database of doctor-payment disclosures. “A review is under way,” Stanford Med School Dean Phil Pizzo told the San Jose Mercury-News.
Pizzo was the one who instituted a ban against those paid speeches. ProPublica reports that, despite that ban, those 12 doctors accepted as much as $109,000 for speaking engagements from Big Pharma. “They now recognize what they did was wrong,” Pizzo told the newspaper. “If we find someone who continues to violate policy, we will consider disciplinary action.”
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The news of the payments to Stanford doctors comes on the heels of praise from the medical students association, which last week gave the medical school an “A” for its strong conflicts of interest policy. But as NPR points out, even the strongest policy isn’t worth much if it’s not vigorously enforced.


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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