Probing Doctors' Ties to Industry

Publication: The Washington Post

Author: Ibby Caputo

08/18/2009 - You may not be able to trust your mortgage broker, your car salesman or your congressman, but you can trust your doctor.

Can't you?

Patients might well ask themselves this question when they learn that 94 percent of physicians have "a relationship" with the pharmaceutical, medical device or other related industries, according to a national survey of physicians published two years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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consumer survey last year by the Pew Prescription Project, an initiative to help eliminate conflicts of interest in prescribing, showed that 68 percent of respondents supported legislation that would require public disclosure of financial relationships between physicians and industry. Seventy-eight percent believed that accepting gifts from the pharmaceutical industry influences their doctors' prescribing habits, but only 34 percent said they would be likely to ask their doctors about potentially troubling financial ties.

Read the full article Probing Doctors' Ties to Industry on the Washington Post's Web site.

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