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The COI Entrepreneurs’ Argument in a Nutshell

  • 1. All relationships between makers of branded products and physicians create intolerable conflicts of interest for physicians, especially financial conflicts of interest, the kind most ethically toxic to professional judgment.
  • 2. Myriad studies have concluded that marketing unduly influences physicians’ prescribing decisions.
  • 3. A widely publicized systematic review of studies examining medical product company marketing has been cited by professional thought leaders for finding overwhelmingly “negative results on clinical care” or patient harm.
  • 4. A commitment to professionalism implies that conflicts of interest should be minimized—eliminated, reduced, or otherwise managed—and, to enable appropriate credibility discounting, always disclosed.
  • 5. Since physicians have proven themselves susceptible to Medical Pharmaceutical Industry’s (MPI’s) undue influence, social-distancing policies should prevent/ deter their meeting with drug/device reps anywhere. Taking gifts, monetary payments (direct or indirect), or food from MPI should be stigmatized (AMSA, PharmedOut, No Free Lunch: Take the Pledge).
  • 6. All MPI transfers of value, direct or indirect, no matter how small should be publicly disclosed—by every physician, medical center, and medical school on an annually updated, searchable website.
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