This was the year that Pharma names doctors. They have disclosed the names and payments of their physician consultants. Look here for physicians speaking and consulting with Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, and Pfizer.
Physician disclosure of conflict is important. It helps put a physician’s opinion and point of view into a context. Disclosure has long been the standard in the academic world. This represents the first time that such information has been made available to the general public.
But how will patients use this information and how will it affect care and outcomes? Should patients flatly avoid physicians or others who have a relationship with a pharmaceutical company? And should patients routinely screen physicians for conflict?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. I’m not sure patients know the answer to these questions. I suspect patients may not like the idea but would be willing to overlook a pharma connection when the reputation of the physician is impeccable.
Transparency is all the rage. Expect more. But I’m wondering how the average health consumer will practically process the information.
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