conflicts of interest

Reflections on a new trend in women’s health care

Nan Okun healthy debate blogger

I have recently noticed a few websites offering an interesting combination of women’s health services, with traditional obstetrical and gynecological care alongside such services as esthetic or cosmetic procedures. As a woman, I must say I found these websites inviting. They project an image of sanctuary, where our physical AND psychological needs are attended to

Are concerns over conflict of interest stifling innovation?

Yan Xu healthy debate blogger

“We made a practical and open work environment for engineers and shop workers, forcing the guys behind the drawing boards onto the shop floor to see how their ideas were being translated into actual parts and to make any necessary changes on the spot.” -from Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed

How much interaction should medical students have with industry?

Is there any role for industry in medical education?

A drug company sales representative stands in front of a class of University of Toronto medical students and delivers her well-rehearsed sales pitch about the benefits of her company’s birth control pill. Hold on: Isn’t this sort of interaction between the pharmaceutical industry and med students supposed to be forbidden because of concerns about conflicts

Health service researchers – are we blind to our own conflicts of interest?

Andreas Laupacis healthydebate editor

Ritika Goel’s recent commentary on Healthy Debate about the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on physicians got me thinking about other kinds of conflict of interest within the health care system, particularly related to health services researchers. There is a great need for researchers to be independent when conducting their work, and to be able to speak

Why do doctors still think pharma doesn’t influence them?

Ritika Goel blogger

Why do so many doctors still think they are invincible to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry? Attractive, well-dressed, charismatic drug reps with pearly smiles and shiny flow charts still wait in waiting rooms. Lectures and conferences still occur where lunch is paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Research studies are still published where investigators receive grants

Opinions, biases and conflicts of interest

Andreas Laupacis healthydebate editor

A recent article in a scientific journal has stimulated an interesting debate about the make up of advisory boards in health care, and what constitutes a conflict of interest. Dr. Barry Rubin is a vascular surgeon in Toronto and a member of an Expert Panel of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) that is

Should clinical practice guidelines consider value for money?

clinical practice guidelines cost effectiveness health care economics health care policy

In Canada, doctors’ associations regularly incorporate new evidence about medications into clinical practice guidelines that are intended to influence patient care. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care reviews the same evidence to decide which medications it will pay for, and often comes to different conclusions. This results in doctors recommending medications which are

The trouble with drug reps – perspectives from a medical resident

Bram Rochwerg Blogger

“What’s the harm in taking something small? It’s just a pen. It’s only lunch. It was just one weekend at the bed & breakfast with my partner. And I learned about a topic that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Plus I got some samples in return! It won’t affect my prescribing habits…” These are

Managing conflicts of interest in research

conflict of interest health care intellectual conflict financial conflict COI

There have been a number of recent reports of conflicts of interest in medical research. There are at least two types of conflicts of interest – financial conflicts, where researchers stand to gain financially from their work; and intellectual conflicts, where researchers stand to gain professionally. Ensuring that all conflicts of interest are declared and

Doctors & drug reps: prescription for trouble?

New drugs are developed every month, and doctors are continuously bombarded with information. Much of this information is provided by pharmaceutical sales representatives who visit doctors’ offices, sponsor lectures and give out medication samples. Are these encounters in the best interest of patients and the health care system? We went out to the street and