A Powerful and Funny Take on the Subject by John Oliver
For many decades, I have been pleased to keep to a very strict policy of not accepting anything free from pharmaceutical companies. Many of those in our practice are familiar with the fact that we accept no gifts, no food, no advice, no payments, and no visits. Our stance to the industry is two-fold:
1. As manufacturers, the pharmaceutical industry is very trustworthy in delivering the drug that the label on the package claims is in it. If I buy a vial of penicillin, I have tremendous confidence that the white powder is penicillin. (This is in marked contrast to the purveyors of herbal remedies who recently were found to not put any of the labeled herbs in many of their most prominent herbal offerings- 80% rate of no trace of the top herbs in 4 top retail names in the state of NY).
2. As marketers, the pharmaceutical industry has earned a very deep level of distrust based on many years of misleading information, denying harmful side effects, and a rather shocking degree of buying doctors' approval.
And so, we will buy products or recommend use of products that we have researched independently and found to be safe and effective, or whose risk of use is justified by the compelling nature of the benefit.
But we will not accept any known attempt to influence our decision-making on use of prescription or other drugs.
After all, isn't that one of the basic functions of your doctor, to be a trustworthy source of information and recommendations? To be credible in stating that our recommendations are really only oriented to the best interest of your child?
Now along comes the comedian John Oliver, and presents a 17 minute take on the outrageous degree of influence peddling that pharmaceutical companies and doctors are colluding in.
Here is the riff. http://youtu.be/YQZ2UeOTO3I
I believe most will find it very funny. Warning, some may find, as with lots of comedic riffs, parts that are offensive. But I found it to be one of the best presentations of what goes on and why the practice of taking items of value from drug companies strikes at the heart of our profession.
So be warned, if you find modern comedic routines offensive, don't watch.
But if you enjoy modern comedy, this presentation does more to make clear the problem with pharmaceutical companies advertising, pushing use of drugs beyond their need, than anything I have read or seen recently.
1. Here is a very funny take on a very sad story, the collusion of doctors and pharmaceutical companies in promoting the use of prescriptions.
2. We at Advanced Pediatrics remain proud of our record of not taking items of value from drug companies, and basing all our recommendations on the best data science can provide.
3. For your other medical needs, it may be worth your while to find out if your other doctors' offices take samples, luncheons, or other items of value and ask your other doctors to stop, or find doctors who do not.
4. Ultimately the issue is whether your medical professionals are completely oriented to the well-being of your child and family, or whether other interests might intrude.
To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin
*Disclaimer* The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.