Hot Topics: Conflict of Interest

Blog Posts (7)

December 8, 2014

Marketing Extremes That Even Give Big Pharma Supporters Pause

<p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">On November 28, 2014, </span><em style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">The New York Times</em><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"> broke another story about Big Pharma marketing extremes. Reported by Katie Thomas and titled “<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/28/business/drug-maker-gave-large-payments-to-doctors-with-troubled-track-records.html">Using Doctors With Troubled Pasts to Market a Painkiller</a>”</span><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">, the article reveals that one drug manufacturer is taking usual and customary sales strategies beyond the reasonable.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">It is </span><a style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;" href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2013/11/11/persuading-the-prescribers-pharmaceutical-industry-marketing-and-its-influence-on-physicians-and-patients">independently reported</a><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"> that pharmaceutical manufacturers spent as much as $27 billion in 2012 to promote their products.  (Curiously during the same year, Big Pharma itself reported spending about $48 billion on the research and </span><a style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;" href="http://www.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/PhRMA%20Profile%202013.pdf">development of new drugs</a><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;">.  However, some believe the research and development </span><a style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;" href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080105140107.htm">costs are overstated</a><span style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"> because government grant support and marketing and other expenses are included in the totals.)</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.3999996185303px;"><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong><span style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"> </span></p>
December 2, 2014

Marketing Extremes That Even Give Big Pharma Supporters Pause

<p style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">On November 28, 2014,The New York Times broke another story about BigPharma marketing extremes. Reported by Katie Thomas and titled “<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/28/business/drug-maker-gave-large-payments-to-doctors-with-troubled-track-records.html">Using Doctors With Troubled Pasts to Market a Painkiller</a>”, the article reveals that one drug manufacturer is taking usual and customary sales strategies beyond the reasonable.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">It is independently reported that pharmaceutical manufacturers spent as much as <a href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2013/11/11/persuading-the-prescribers-pharmaceutical-industry-marketing-and-its-influence-on-physicians-and-patients">$27 billion in 2012</a> to promote their products. (Curiously during the same year, Big Pharma itself reported spending about <a href="http://www.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/PhRMA%20Profile%202013.pdf">$48 billion</a> on the research and development of new drugs. However, some believe the research and development costs are overstated because government grant support and marketingand other expenses are <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080105140107.htm">included in the totals</a>.)</p> <p><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="color: #000099; text-decoration: underline;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
September 30, 2014

Dollars to Doctors: Sun Rises on Sunshine Act’s Open Payments Database

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Today, Tuesday, September 29, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will release most of the Open Payments database.…

March 7, 2014

GlaxoSmithKline and Conflicts of Interests

<p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px;">A <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/business/glaxo-says-it-will-stop-paying-doctors-to-promote-drugs.html">New York Times</a></em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/business/glaxo-says-it-will-stop-paying-doctors-to-promote-drugs.html"> article</a> by Katie Thomas published on December 16, 2013 led with this sentence: “The British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will no longer pay doctors to promote its products and will stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, its chief executive said Monday, effectively ending two common industry practices that critics have long assailed as troublesome conflicts of interest.” Might one ask: Are these really conflict of interests problems?</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px;">A <em>conflict of interest</em> (so sometimes, <em>conflict of interests</em>) is <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199308193290812">often defined as</a>: “a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.”  In a short introduction to conflicts of interests, written for a business ethics class at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Lamar Pierce (Associate Professor of Strategy, Olin Business School, Washington University, St. Louis) said:</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="color: #434343;">Incentives are pervasive in every aspect of society. People are rewarded for taking certain actions, and not rewarded for taking others. Workers are paid for their effort and productivity, salespeople are paid for their sales, and small business owners are rewarded with profits for successful ventures. So long as these incentives are well-understood by everyone, they work reasonably well. They motivate effort, performance, and social welfare. But sometimes, individuals have incentives that conflict with their professional responsibilities, often in ways that are not transparent to the public or in their own minds. These conflicts of interest produce serious economic and social problems.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px;"><span style="color: #434343;"></span><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="color: #000099; text-decoration: underline;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
January 22, 2014

Should Those Selling Natural Cures and Supplements Get a Free Ride When It Comes to COI?

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Earlier this week I was a guest on a Pennsylvania public television show.  The topic was the safety of GMO foods. …

September 24, 2013

How Young is Too Young: Bariatric Surgery in Toddlers

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Oxford American Dictionary defines the term “outrageous” as “shockingly bad or excessive.” Case in point, a recent publication in the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports about a two-and-a-half year old boy in Saudi Arabia who two years ago underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG).…

September 3, 2010

FDA and Office of Human Research Protection Respond to Fetal Dex Complaint

The September issue of The American Journal of Bioethics, presaged by such astonishing articles as “The Lesbian Drug” in Newsweek, stretched the boundaries of the Journal by engaging questions about the relationship between advocacy and scholarship, the meaning of transgressing boundaries in that regard, and the extraordinary implications of the social and medical debate concerning the administration of dexamethasone during pregnancy in females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.…

News (38)

June 30, 2014 6:15 pm

Facebook responds to criticism of its experiment on users

Facebook is unapologetic about the “emotional contagion” experiment it was conducting on customers.

April 23, 2014 1:40 pm

UC OKs paying surgeon $10 million in whistleblower-retaliation case

The settlement ends a case brought by the ex-head of UCLA’s orthopedic surgery department, who says the medical school allowed doctors to take industry payments that may have compromised patient care.


April 17, 2014 5:37 pm

Free samples of prescription drugs are costly to patients, study says

Free samples of prescription drugs may seem like a great deal for patients. But even when doctors think they’re doing patients a favor by handing out the freebies, the real beneficiaries are the drug manufacturers, according to new research in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

March 21, 2014 2:46 pm

Hawaii police urge lawmakers to let undercover cops have sex with prostitutes

December 17, 2013 6:00 pm

GlaxoSmithKline To Stop Paying Doctors To Promote Drugs

GlaxoSmithKline will stop paying doctors for promoting its drugs and scrap prescription targets for its marketing staff – a first for an industry battling scandals over its sales practices, and a challenge for its peers to follow suit.

November 8, 2013 1:41 pm

Feds Have Beaten Pharma Into Submission Over Off-Label Drug Use, But At What Cost?

Regulatory policy should be based on rules that are clear, with a process that is transparent, and on decisions that are accountable and reviewable, and that are congruent with other public policy imperatives.

November 6, 2013 4:37 pm

U.S. directed medical professionals to ignore ethics, abuse detainees, report says

A new report accuses the U.S. government of directing doctors, nurses and psychologists to participate in the abuse of detainees in Afghanistan, Guantánamo and Iraq.

October 15, 2013 2:37 pm

Hospital CEO Pay Not Tied to Quality

The compensation of nonprofit hospital executives wasn’t linked to processes of care, patient outcomes, or the charity care the facility provided, a retrospective observational study found.

October 15, 2013 2:35 pm

For Med Students, Love From the Drug Rep

Even though medical students and trainees were interacting with industry less than before, roughly half of all medical students and residents had received some kind of gift from industry.

September 23, 2013 3:51 pm

Science and conflicts of interest: Ties to industry revealed

Seventeen of 18 scientists who wrote a controversial editorial critical of the European Commission’s plan to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals have past or current ties to industries.

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