News Headlines Article

Industry has too much influence in medicine. It’s time to end that.
The Washington Post

José Baselga, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s chief medical officer, resigned a few weeks ago following his failure to disclose his financial connections with pharmaceutical and device companies. An exposé a week later revealed the hospital may have a conflict of interest in its relations with a new start-up company.

These episodes reveal how common alliances with industry are in academic medicine and how they can distort clinical decision-making.

But disclosures alone cannot cure the most fundamental disorder created by these relationships. Medical-industrial bonds distort medical care itself. Such bonds have created many useful products, including diagnostic X-ray. But they have defined the choice of interventions used by entire specialties, devaluing more scientifically informed measures of clinical effectiveness and patient harm.