The life of today is filled with so many ups and down, and the medical world is one that’s suffered a huge blow. Some issues have now gotten out of hand. One of the most pressing issues that is still being investigated is the case of doctors and scientists concealing the funding from big pharma. To make it worse, the punishment declared for not declaring their interests seems to be weak. This proves that there’s a large group of medical research doctors and scientists involved in corruption and on a high scale. Despite this being a major threat to medical patients and doctors alike, big pharmaceutical companies don’t want to admit there is collusion between them and medical researchers.
What the Evidence Reveals
According to one of the reports recorded by the New York Times, Mehraneh Dorna Jafari, assistant professor of surgery at the University of California declares that the system behind the big pharma seems to be broken. The study basically showed that out of 100 registered and qualified doctors, only 37 had managed to declare a conflict of interest in their published research. The big question that is being asked is what about the remaining 63 doctors?
For instance, there was one case where a doctor was elected president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) that basically had about 40,000 members. The organization had the power to influence and make recommendations on cancer drugs that were worth tens of billions of dollars. The president at the time had published about 50 articles where his bio stated that he was a ‘Giant of Cancer Care’ because of his drug development achievements. Unfortunately, the doctor appeared to be skeptical owing to the fact that he hadn’t declared any biases that might have resulted from corporate involvement. Ideally, the doctor had worked as an employee in various companies that were paid about $114000 for speaking fees and an additional $8million for research funding that was facilitated by private pharmaceutical corporations.
In one of the most recent studies, it was revealed by Times and ProPublica that the dean of Yale School of Medicine, Dr.Robert J. Alpern, had failed to declare his responsibility and involvement behind an experimental kidney disease drug that was in enrollment. The truth finally came to light when it was discovered by the editor of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that all 12 authors of the article had particular interests on the matter, but had failed to declare them. All in all, the biggest issue that is trying to be portrayed here is that the information produced based on medical research is false. In addition, the financial relationship that is being established between the big pharma and medical researchers is the reason for the bias created. In any case, the money being funded will always act as a big influence on the research being carried out.
Dr. Jeffrey R.Botkin who is an associate vice president for research at the University of Utah has published an article that suggests those caught going against rules on disclosure should be charged with academic misconduct. This will not only discourage other medical researchers from going astray, but it will also put the violators at the risk of losing their career and damaging their reputation. You may start to wonder what exactly is being done about this issue in question. Fortunately, there’re measures that have already been put into place such as strict rules have been enforced on the revelation of payment of funds from corporations to doctors. Moreover, journals have also taken action against the same by declaring long length bans for any violators, and it has now been made easier to identify conflicts of interests within minutes thanks to online databases.
It was recently revealed by a nephrologist by the name Jason Fung that there’s now more than enough evidence showing the prejudice portrayed by the journals that the medical audience relies on to produce nothing, but accurate information. What is of a threat to the big pharma industry is that the money being paid to medical researchers by pharmaceutical companies is done so directly. In 2014 alone, there was a total sum of $27,564 that was paid as ‘in hand’ payment. One of the worst journals to appear to be blacklisted is the Journal of American College of Cardiology, where 19 editors had personally been paid an average of $475,072 and a further $119,407 for medical research. This amount totals to a payout of $594,479. All in all, corruption among medical researchers is being carried out to benefit the big pharma industry.
Overall, the medical research that the world depends on is vital and critical for health care providence and development. All in all, further measures need to be taken so as to avoid unnecessary payout that could probably mislead the public into buying drugs that they don’t necessarily need.