Doctors, Research and Industry Money

The New York Times has an interesting article about the recent decision of some scientists to refuse payments from the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. From the article:

No longer will they be paid for speaking at meetings or for sitting on advisory boards. They may still work with companies. It is important, they say, for knowledgeable scientists to help companies draw up and interpret studies. But the work will be pro bono.

The scientists say their decisions were private and made with mixed emotions. In at least one case, the choice resulted in significant financial sacrifice. While the investigators say they do not want to appear superior to their colleagues, they also express relief. At last, they say, when they offer a heartfelt and scientifically reasoned opinion, no one will silently put an asterisk next to their name.

The entire article is worth a read. If more and more scientists do this, then patients researching their conditions and curious laypeople will have one less cause for skepticism about what they’re being told.

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