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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 8517

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.
Doctors as lapdogs to drug firms: Independence may be most cost effective way to improve health care.
BMJ 2006 Nov 25; 333:(7578):1121-2


I hope Fugh-Berman’s talk is effective in prompting drug companies to cease their involvement in medical education.1 If so, stopping such talks could be the most cost effective way to improve health care because exposure to drug promotion correlates with suboptimal health care.2 That includes the subtle promotion in disguise that makes involvement in medical education profitable for drug companies.

The main barrier to progress is doctors’ denial that we are often adversely influenced by drug promotion. This denial arises partly from ignorance of the evidence about drug promotion,3 4 partly from overconfidence,2 and partly from refusal to believe that evidence because it is seen as insulting our self esteem.5 We need to move from the illusion that being misled is unlikely or shameful to accepting that it is normal for humans to be vulnerable to misleading promotional techniques.5 There is no proved method . . .

MeSH Terms: Delivery of Health Care/standards Drug Industry/standards* Physicians/standards*


Correction in Rapid Response to this letter:
To err is human
Peter R Mansfield, 24 Nov 2006


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