Our Limitless Capacity For Self-Deception 10

I want to share with my readers a recent post and accompanying comment published on CardioExchange. The original post is by Eric Lindley, a cardiology fellow at the University of Utah:

Journal X: Not so Subtle Marketing Messages

I was the rare resident who thought that conflict of interest issues in medicine were a bit overblown. I did not find (or ignored) the evidence that pharma played a role in prescribing habits very persuasive, at least not when it came to my personal prescribing habits. I was not alone among the house staff, however, in appreciating an occasional “free” lunch, and the much rarer sponsored dinners at places I couldn’t afford as a physician-in-training.

Now I’m a fellow, and my attitudes about the pervasiveness of pharma influence have changed. Am I older and wiser? I’d like to think so. But I owe most of my conversion to the fresh perspective of my three-year-old daughter. She refers to most things by their color, including a majority of my medical journals. For instance, my JACC journals: blue for the mother journal, red for heart failure, green for interventions, etc. But then she started calling the original JACC the “X” journal. When I asked her why, she pointed to the “X” in Xarelto (rivaroxaban). I realized that every issue of JACC is covered front to back with the “X”. The message was subliminal to me, but quite obvious to her.

How do you think all of our pharma marketing looks with naive eyes?

This post prompted the following response from Siqin Ye, a cardiology fellow at Columbia University:

A story that I heard at ACC a few years ago goes something like this:

In a roomful of interventional cardiologists, the speaker asks, “How many of you have ever put in a stent that was unnecessary?”

Two or three hands went up.

The speaker then asks, “How many of you have seen someone in this room put in a stent that was unnecessary?”

About half the room raised their hands.

I think there is something similar with respect to our attitude towards pharma ads and gifts. I know plenty of residents and fellows who firmly believe that ads and dinners do not affect their personal practice patterns. Whether or not this is true for any given individual, the fact that pharma continue to spend so much on these activities suggest that as a whole, we are probably more susceptible than we believe.

 Thanks to Drs. Lindley and Ye for permission to reprint their words.

 

About these ads

Should Physicians Be Business Partners With Medical Device Salesmen? Reply

Should a Florida cardiologist co-own a business running frozen yogurt shops with a medical device salesman? That’s the question raised by reporter John Dorschner in a story posted by the Miami Herald yesterday:

 

“Mark Sabbota, a Hollywood cardiologist, regularly implants $5,000 pacemakers in patients at Memorial hospitals in South Broward — generating, last year alone, more than a half-million dollars in sales for a manufacturer called St. Jude Medical.

Sabbota, public records show, also happens to be partners with a St. Jude sales rep in two corporations that run frozen yogurt shops.”

 

Click here to read the full story on Forbes.

 

English: Yogurt, Yogurtland, Frozen Desserts