Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Doctors, patients, and the drug industry

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 05 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b463

Big Pharma and Little Doctors

The relationship between the drug industry and doctors is upside down
and backwards. Although the drug industry is motivated primarily by profit,
lacks clinical experience and judgment, and has a history of egregious
dishonesty, the drug industry nonetheless dominates doctors. The drug
industry’s economic might, political connections, deceptive marketing,
biased research, and self-serving educational functions render even
experienced doctors little more than medical students who seek a passing
grade and prize the prescription pad as a badge of honor and raison

It’s no wonder that doctors and medical journals are now half-heartedly and
belatedly trying to emancipate themselves from the drug industry’s
hegemony and patronage, while the drug industry is hypocritically trying to
maintain the status quo. And it’s no wonder that healthcare is so frustrating,
expensive, confusing, ineffective, and dangerous. How sad for doctors,
patients, and patients’ families, who suffer along with patients and struggle
to pay inflated medical bills.

Those who seek to defend the drug industry’s right to monopolize
healthcare, gouge the public, and make rapacious, extravagant profits
should read Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the
whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

08 February 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA