From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Man, We're so damn easy

My Twitter time line has been flooded with praise for Canada's doctors for their refusal to endorse Harper's reefer madness redux campaign. The general tone has been one of heroism, of standing up for Canadians. Oh if only that was true.

The problem with this is that it is far from the truth. If it was true doctor's would not hide behind their version of the blue wall, denying us information on members of their group who have been found guilty of misconduct and/or incompetence.
 It’s taken two months of prodding, a direct order from the government and a long series of meetings, consultations and legal manoeuvres, but the identity of nine taxpayer-funded health clinics that failed recent safety inspections is finally out in the open.
 Ontario College of Physicians keeps secret details of doctor’s incompetence The body that regulates doctors in Ontario is keeping secret a legal document detailing how a Mississauga surgeon erred in 22 cases

Secret disciplinary hearings to reduce doctors' 'stress' The medical regulator says that if GPs agree to misconduct in private there is no need for them to undergo the “stress” of a public hearing, and that deals would save time and money

Then of course there is their fondness for accepting gifts from Big Pharma a practice that leads to the rampant over prescription of drugs and to the prescribing of  the more expensive products manufactured by their benefactors. It has been estimated that pharmaceutical companies spend $1.7 billion every year promoting their products to physicians in Canada

 Meet your doctor's generous friend Notably, these same multinational pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars promoting the same drugs to Canadian doctors. And surveys show many Canadian doctors meet with reps monthly, weekly, or more often, regularly attend their educational events, and regard them as a primary source for information about newer drugs. Yet there’s never been any similar lawsuits in Canada. Do drug companies play nicer here, or are we just bigger dupes?

On the surface at least the tide seems to be turning against this obviously corrupt practice, but as they've seen in the States laws and stiff fines have done little to curb this.

Canada’s largest medical regulator aims to put an end to controversial gifts doctors receive from drug companies Ontario’s move is not the first to target the doctor-drug industry relationship: Elsewhere, a leading drug firm announced last year it was curbing its marketing toward doctors, while the U.S. has ordered industry to divulge details of payments to individual physicians. A new Canadian commentary has also urged publicizing what it calls corporate legal threats against medical journals, which it says create a libel chill that has led to some scientific papers being spiked.

Some critics, though, say the new policy and some other initiatives are little more than window-dressing, unlikely to curb the considerable influence industry has on which drugs and devices doctors prescribe.

“I don’t see what they’ve done as a crackdown, I see it as a whitewash,” charged Arthur Schafer, a prominent ethics professor at the University of Manitoba. “The industry feels under a certain amount of pressure … the profession is feeling the heat. This is a kind of feeble, half-hearted response to that.”

 Doctors like all self regulated professions put their own self interests ahead of the public's. Their refusal to play nice with the Harper Government™ on their anti-pot campaign likely lies in that. so excuse me if I refuse to jump on the hero worship band wagon

No comments:

Post a Comment