Saturday, August 29, 2009

What's wrong with the pharmaceutical industry going bust?


Sarah Boseley has written a Guardian article about a Compass report "A bitter pill to swallow". The subtitle of the report is "Drugs for people, not just for profit".

The report tends to blame the neo-liberal market economics of Thatcher and Reagan for "why the drug companies are getting away with it". There are political changes that could be made, such as that all phase 3 trials be carried out independent from the industry. As the report says, this could be funded through an industry levy as initially put forward by John Abraham and Helen Lawton Smith in their book Regulation of the Pharmaceutical Industry. Doctors' education needs to be through public funding rather than relying on the pharmaceutical industry.

However, things won't really change until it's recognised how much doctors are merely agents of the pharmaceutical industry, rather than independent practitioners in the interests of patients.

2 comments:

Robert said...

We reject the usage of medicine as an instrument of social control, however, we cannot totally free ourselves from the madhouse of the therapeutic state. The whole world has become a hospital. Popular opinion and politicians find it too useful to control people in this manner. We also reject most violence, not on the grounds that violence is in itself always bad, and while we will note the the rights of homosexuals was changed after the stonewall riots, violence is mostly bad and usually causes more problems than it solves. Rather than being pacificists we advocate the right kind violence in the right kind of way. We can sow the seeds for this right kind of violence by advocating out and out insurrection against psychiatry. An insurrection against psychiatry need not include violence in any way shape or form at this present time. For now we can safely advocate the following forms of insurrection:
A) Lying to the medical profession. Because psychiatry is primarily (although not always) an instrument of social control, we should have no expectation whatsoever that mental health workers are agents of our interests. We should have no reason therefore to be honest to any member of the medical profession whatsoever at this point in history unless we have good reason to be. This includes giving a false history, tampering with drug tests, lying about disability to receive benefits, misleading court officials to receive more lenient sentences, and so on.

susanne said...

Doctors have their own political and personal agendas. The Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Charitable Trust funded a researcher at Compass to work on this report - nothing wrong with that but it would have been reasonable to exxpect a declaration of interest by Compass when members of the medical profession were responsible for funding the project.Stephen Amiel GP/Chair of a local medical cttee was involved in enabling the funding to be given to Compass. Help from another Trust Director is acknowledged in the report but only by name - he was not declared as being a member of the Amiel and Melburn Trust. It is important that these links and relationships and interests be declared to readers when critical reports of any kind are published. Some of the Directors have what could be seen as conflicting interests in the psychotherapy industry for example. Why was the report commissioned in the first place by Compass?