Educating doctors?

Recently there were two pieces of news regarding the relationship between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. In one the convener of RANZ college of  Psychiatrists(RANZCP)  decided to resign when his attempts to end drug company sponsorship of CME and Conferences was vehemently opposed by fellow members.

Psychiatrists back sponsorship deals | The Australian

A SENIOR member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists resigned as convenor of its 2009 congress after his peers unanimously voted down a proposal to dump drug company sponsorship.

A similar story from Australian papers regarding sponsorship of a weekend seminar for Gastroenterologists is panned here.

“A drug giant spent more than $514,000 on a weekend seminar that included just six hours of “education content”.

The symposium by Australian-based AstraZeneca included gourmet meals, alcohol and two nights free accommodation.

A new report shows “Big Pharma” is prepared to spend millions showering doctors with hospitality in the hope they will prescribe their drugs.

It reveals drug companies spent $31 million on educational events in the second half of last year, including $16 million on meals, airfares and accommodation.

Drug companies funded 14,643 functions during the period, 52 of which are under investigation for possible breaches of new industry rules.

      Read the full article here. How drug companies wine & dine doctors.
       (from herald sun,au)

In general doctors perceive that they can be dispassionate about their clinical decisions even after being sponsored by the drug companies. The situation in India is no different, if not more “inter wined”. As can be witnessed by the reluctance of Psychiatrists; it is not easy to let go of the easy money provided by the pharma companies.