Docs Urged to Cut Corporate Ties; PhRMA Warns of Invasion by the "Very Junior People"
In an article in today's NYT, the folks at the Institute for Medicine as a Profession are again advocating for definitive separation between medicine from the medical industries in key areas. This is not the first time the call has gone out. A JAMA article in 2006 was perhaps more radical. But the warnings go on. (And the JAMA article is itself linked in the NYT piece). Here the emphasis on industry's influence over practice guidelines (e.g., LDL triggers for statin use, etc.)
The response from PhRMA is worth including as the NYT did. It reads:
'Marjorie Powell, senior assistant general counsel for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a drug industry trade group, said the proposals could deprive the medical community of the expertise of some of its most experienced doctors, who are often deeply involved in industry-financed research.
“The vast majority of the research is funded by pharmaceutical companies,” Ms. Powell said. Important decisions regarding practice guidelines might be made, she said, by “very junior people who have no experience.”'
If we are to believe PhRMA, this would make most of those who are (supposed to) serve on FDA Advisory Committees "very junior people who have no experience." So also the editors of JAMA and NEJM who have generally supported these initiatives.
These "experience-challenged" people may be compared with the docs CROs hire to carry out clinical trials. True, they usually don't write practice doctrines. They are usually bought--excuse me--brought in for a subsidiary task. Perhaps, what is suitable for "very junior people."