Physicians, research, and pharma

There's an interesting article in the Boston Phoenix by David Bernstein that examines the relationship between physicians and their organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, research, and how that research is disseminated. One snip:

    Often, the drug company then finds an academic to accept a research grant to serve as lead author of the resulting article -- and frequently as its paid “opinion leader,” who may receive honoraria for talking up the product through the company‘s “speaker‘s bureau,” at continuing medical-education courses, and elsewhere. Harvard, Tufts, Boston University, and other local medical schools and teaching hospitals are filled with professors receiving such honoraria; the Integrity in Science Project Web site ( has a searchable database of them. “The more prestigious the institution, the more likely the industry associations,” says John Abramson, clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and author of Overdosed America. “The drug companies understand who the key opinion leaders are.”
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