Views & Reviews From the Frontline

End the scandal of free medical education

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f3936 (Published 19 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3936
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

I am wary of the too kind, the too good looking, the too generous, the too polite, the too thin, and the too earnest—because they are always fake. Gullibility is a flaw in medicine, because our job is to give patients what they need, not what they want. Doctors believe their intelligence protects them from pharma marketing but are in complete denial. Doctors follow the herd and are in thrall of the mob.

Big pharma spent £40m last year supporting “educational activity” for health professionals.1 Why? Because sponsored education is just marketing …

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