Re: Be open and honest with patients, says Scotland’s chief medical officer
I am hugely encouraged by this second report by Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, taking forward the concept of Realistic Medicine and expressing the ambition to put patients at the heart of this (1) There are of course a number of factors that lead to overtreatment. One of these factors is marketing. The evidence gathered for my petition to the Scottish Parliament to consider introducing a Sunshine Act for Scotland established the significant involvement of marketing in the provision of continuing professional development activities for healthcare workers (2). The Scottish public were consulted about the need for a Sunshine Act and in majority agreed that this was necessary (3). The medical profession still has work to do to address and acknowledge the potential for marketing to facilitate "unrealistic medicine". I hope that progress in openness and honesty will address this uncomfortable truth so that patients are truly empowered.
(1 )BMJ 2017;356:j1058
Competing interests: I raised a petition with the Scottish Parliament to consider introducing a Sunshine Act for Scotland: http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/sunshineact