Epistemic Corruption, Drug Companies and the Medical Sciences.
Hi everyone. Episode 93 of Causes or Cures is posted!
For those who are new to the party, welcome. One of the podcast topics I plan to focus on for 2022 is industry’s influence on healthcare, public health and health policy. Their influence is wide-reaching, so when it comes to topics for my podcast, it should be a packed 2022. I’m also trying to feature folks from different countries, so you guys get a global perspective and not just an America-centric perspective. In fact, if you haven’t listened to it yet, I recently did a podcast with Australia’s Dr. Parker who discusses her research on how drug companies influence the decisions hospitals make about what drugs and therapeutics they use. If you’re into how a lust for profit corrupts money and people, you’ll dig it. Check it out here.
For Episode 93, my guest is Dr. Sergio Sismondo, a professor of philosophy at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He is going to chat about his research titled “Epistemic Corruption, the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Body of Medical Science” published in Frontiers Research Metrics and Analytics. His years of empirical research has shed light on the various ways drug companies influence the practice of medicine for profit. His research also allowed him to develop a framework for understanding the relationship between politics and pharmaceutical companies. In addition to his research, he has published two books titled: An Introduction to Science and Technology and Ghost-Managed Medicine, Big Pharma’s Invisible Hands.
In the podcast, he will explain what epistemic corruption is and why you should care about it. He’ll talk about “ghost managed” medicine, ghost writers and how drug companies influence what gets published in top medical journals and influence evidence bases. If you’re interested in corruption and crony-capitalism and Big Pharma, you’ll appreciate this podcast.
Interestingly, this is the first podcast where a guest said to me, “Well, you could have been a whistleblower.” A listener wrote me and asked me how that made me feel. Frankly, it made me think. I wasn’t offended, angry, upset or anything like that. I welcomed the reflection. The reason he said that is because I worked as a medical writer to help pay for public health school and a few bills after I graduated. I sort of fell into medical writing. I knew about medicine, loved to write and was a fast writer, it paid well, so it seemed like a natural side job. Part of my role as a medical writer was being a “ghost writer” for various doctors, whose names were given to me by drug companies. I don’t know how many articles I wrote that got published in journals and don’t have my name anywhere near them, and I never really questioned the ethics of it, because the practice of ghost-writing was so widespread and accepted. I did think it was weird, but I was so preoccupied with other things at the time that I didn’t explore the issue beyond that. That said, I had a front row seat to what he means by “ghost-managed medicine,” and you’ll hear about it in the podcast.
Also, you’ll totally understand what he means by epistemic corruption after you listen to the podcast. Those two words will become favorites of yours, I promise.
I have to get back to work, but I want to thank everyone who has subscribed to my podcast and shared episodes. It means a lot. I can’t believe how much the podcast has grown in just a year, so thank you for all of the support. It’s not a money project for me. (In fact, I haven’t made any money from it so far.) It’s a passion project. Maybe one day I will make money from it, but it’s okay if I never do. I’ve had so much fun talking to a wide variety of people and learning a bunch of different things- it’s already worth it to me.
Chat later. – Eeks