Doctor and Industry Relationships: Transparency is Not Enough.
Hi everyone. If you are a listener of Causes or Cures Health Podcast, you’ll know that one topic I am focusing on for 2022 is industry’s influence on health and health policy. My goal is to bring on experts and researchers who study this stuff in a real and rigorous way. Industry’s influence takes on many forms, and I hope to at least touch on them or give you an idea of how broad and clever their methods of influence are. I don’t even know all the ways so this lil’ podcast journey has been educational for me as well. I’m also bringing on experts and researchers in different countries, because industry’s influence on health and health policy IS a global health policy. It’s not unique to the US or anyone country.
Doctor and Industry relationships is a known concern, which is why journals make doctors disclose financial payments at the end of research papers they author. It’s also why the Sunshine Act came to fruition. The act was designed to bring transparency to doctor and industry relationships. While it accomplished transparency, it unfortunately didn’t do much else. My guest today, Dr. Joel Lexchin, has researched numerous aspects of how industry influences health and health policy. He recently authored a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine titled, A Ray of Sunshine: Transparency in Physician-Industry Relationships is not enough. He will go into detail about the Sunshine Act, what it hoped to accomplish, what it actually did and how it did or did not change the behavior of doctors, industry and consumers.
Dr. Lexchin is a professor at the York University Faculty of Health where he taught pharmaceutical policy, an emergency medicine physician, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the author of over 160 peer-reviewed publications. He was a member of the Ontario Drug Quality and Therapeutics Committee and chair of the Drugs and Pharmacotherapy Committee of the Ontario Medical Association for 2 years.
You can listen to the episode here. Dr. Lexchin has also agreed to come back on and do a joint podcast with Dr. Lisa Parker on how industry influences patient advocacy groups. Dr. Parker recently did an episode for Causes or Cures on how industry influences drug and therapeutic decisions in Australian hospitals. If you haven’t yet, you can learn more about that episode here.
I also recorded a great podcast with Dr. Sergio Sigmondo on epistemic corruption and ghost-managed medicine. I highly recommend listening to this episode and reading his book on ghost-managed medicine. Perhaps it will be eye-opening for some. At the least you’ll learn what the word “epistemic” means. 😉 You can learn more about that episode here.
I have more guests lined up and have already recorded several issues related to industry’s influence on health policy. Now it’s just a matter of editing them and getting them posted. If you are a frequent listener, thank you for being patient. I record and edit when I’m not busy with my day job (contracting work), so unfortunately it takes longer than I would like. That said, I think I’m getting myself on a good, regular routine and hopefully will be more efficient at recording, editing and posting podcasts in the future.
Anyhow, take a listen to the podcast and tell me what you think. Also check out some of my other blog posts, particularly the Health Communications section as I do quite a bit of consulting work in Scicomms. 😉
See you here soon,