Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gung Ho

From 1998 to 2007, drug and device companies, as well as other medical groups, have gifted Department of Defense medical personnel with over $10 million in free trips.

A study conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism revealed, “ … the medical industry was by far the biggest sponsor of free travel, accounting for about 40 percent of all trips. The sponsors included not only drug and device makers but also health foundations and trade groups often funded by those companies.”

These trips are permitted under federal regulations; however, critics complain that the system is broken.

“Allowing the drug industry to send military pharmacists to Las Vegas or letting a Saudi prince pay a top official’s way to Riyadh, they warn, can create serious conflicts of interest.”

Medtronic spent $13,000 on trips for a surgeon who, it was discovered, “overstated the benefits of Infuse, a Medtronic drug it uses to treat combat-related bone injuries.” The company also sponsored nearly a hundred trips to conferences and seminars for specialists and other medical personnel.

How do you feel about these industries influencing military medical personnel?

To read the entire article, please click the link below.

Pentagon Travel - A Center for Public Integrity Investigation


  1. This just to make a connection with the patent extension thread.

    When a drug I was on was discontinued (in the U.S.) in favor of a less effective chocolote-flavored one (to wean people over before patent expiration), company spokesfolk denied there was any plan to discontinue the original.

    Through the magic of Google, I discovered that the date of discontinuation was actually posted on the DoD formulary website, company claims notwithstanding.

    The moral I drew from this: Even if you're pharma, you don't F with the Army.

  2. military and pharma....

    I think it's disgusting, but expected. The VA comes to mind.

    One glimmer of hope, executives for a medical device company have been charged for criminal acts. Shows that they are no longer immmune from their horrendous acts against patients, despite their friends in the military.

  3. Yo Anon, the cement needs to go on their feet.

    Read ‘bout it: International Medical Device Maker; Four Executives Charged in Connection With Unlawful Clinical Trials


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