Conflicts of interest helping to shape health care

According to this article, practitioners involved in just about every “area of medicine” are to a greater or lesser extent, respectively, in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry.

“More than two-thirds of patient advocacy organizations that responded to a survey indicated that they had received industry funding in their last fiscal year. For most, the money represented a small share of their budget. But 12 percent said they received more than half of their money from industry.”

We’re talking about “those who write guidelines that shape doctors’ practices, patient advocacy organizations, letter writers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and even oncologists on Twitter.”

What it amounts to is that vast conflicts of interest are actually helping to shape health care.

“The very way we all think about disease — and the best ways to research, define, prevent, and treat it — is being subtly distorted because so many of the ostensibly independent players, including patient advocacy groups, are largely singing tunes acceptable to companies seeking to maximize markets for drugs and devices,” researchers Ray Moynihan and Lisa Bero wrote in an accompanying commentary.