Are you comfortable knowing that the medications your doctors prescribe for you may be influenced by what they hear at a lecture or seminar weekend from a pharmaceutical company paid speaker instead of your doctor’s own research and critical reading of the testing results of that drug? Well, apparently, that is what is happening in many cases in the Broward County, FL area. I would not be surprised if it was a national trend. Actually, I know it is.
Bob LeMendola wrote a great article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel September 19th in which he describes how many of the MDs in his area are on the payroll for Big Pharma and are paid handsomely as consultants. It’s been a long standing practice for medical companies to sponsor speakers to talk about clinical advancements with new products and how best to achieve better outcomes for patients. I personally see nothing wrong in doing this type of education and product endorsement. As a matter of fact, I practice that in my current work environment. The standard I use to justify this type of education is “does it better significantly the outcome of the patient?” I want to know if that new embolectomy balloon really does clean out that artery better than the older types. Where’s the proof? How much testing was done and for how long? Any adverse effects with this style of balloon versus the older kind?
This, unfortunately, is not what pharmaceutical speakers hold as their thermometer. It is a fact pointed out on this blog and many others that our children are continuously assaulted by the newest ADHD drug or Depression drug of the day. Considering the science behind their assault is phoney and without evidence, as pointed about by Psychiatrist David Kaiser in the Psychiatric Times, you can expect your family doctor and your pediatrician to push drugs onto you and your family without really examining the evidence behind it. Just to illustrate what I’m saying, I know for a fact that young women, mostly single mothers, who are on the Medicaid Insurance system here in Florida are being offered anti-depressants and anti-anxiety prescriptions on about every visit to their Medicaid doctor. If you come into the office for an ulcer, you are offered anti-anxiety drugs. If you come in for chronic back pain, it’s an anti-depressant. Every senior in our nursing homes today has an added diagnosis of “anxiety” or “depression” onto their list of diseases they are being treated for. With no lab tests or radiographic confirmation that they have a mental illness or disease called mental illness. It’s one of the biggest scams in modern history and it’s being pushed onto the public without our knowing it. Tell me, fellow nurses, Legal Nurse Consultants, and healthcare providers, is this ethical?