Intended for healthcare professionals

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Education And Debate

Who pays for the pizza? Redefining the relationships between doctors and drug companies. 1: Entanglement

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7400.1189 (Published 29 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1189

Rapid Response:

Patients pay for the Pizza

Ray Moynihan has just completed the work I started in Australia by
being associated with a TV program on Channel 9 on 5th August 2001.
Amongst the extravagance we showed was a function held for Doctors and
wives on a SHOW BOAT with semi-naked dancing girls. I took a hidden camera
and filmed many a drug company sponsored function. The resulting outrage
resulted in a change in the code of ethics in Australia and most companies
have abandoned such functions. Bribery still exists and unfortunately it
is accepted by our colleagues.

I was amazed by the attitude shown by my colleagues here, who openly
said to me that I had stopped them receiving free meals. I still wonder if
such poverty stricken doctors who rely on drug companies for a meal would
survive as a ordinary person in a third world country ?

The medical community in general and specially the so-called
consultants should stop doing a snow job on General Practioners at the
behest of Pharmaceutical Companies.

I would also ask doctors to look at references quoted in
Pharmaceutical company advertising. Mostly they are quoted as 'data on
file'..which essentially is a non refereed paper.More than 80% are drug
company sponsored and only the positive results are published.

How do I know so much? I have worked for a Pharmaceutical Company.

Competing interests:  
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 May 2003
Dr Deepak Malhotra
Consultant, Aviation Medicine
Sydney, Australia