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Commercial Influences on Medical Breakthroughs

Commercial Influences on Medical Breakthroughs

Experts are claiming that the improvement of the quality and reliability of new medical research could be achieved if commercial interests were not the main driver of advancement. This is because company-backed research is not always reliable as the agenda is to create research that promotes a further interest in profits and not health.

In the article published in the BMJ, called the "Pathways to independence: Towards producing and using trustworthy evidence", there is a strong emphasis on achieving a level of healthcare research that supports genuine health interests and change, devoid of commercial influences, through the joint collaboration of advocates, clinicians, international researchers and regulators in the industry.

Lead researcher and professor Dr. Ray Moynihan from Bond University believes that trustworthy evidence and a proper response to existing problems in the field can be achieved of commercial influences are removed as it tends to over-compliment itself with inflated product benefits, and downplayed side effects. This is done with the hopes that more sales will lead to more profits.

One of the most controversial "solutions" that have been administered in recent times is the transvaginal mesh implants that have been given to hundreds of Australian women, and provided many negative side-effects which were not properly translated to those that opted-in for the surgery.


So what's the solution?

There are a few possible solutions to removing the financial interests of major corporations:

Research

  • An independent production of evidence in regards to treatments, tests and technologies carried out by the Government.
  • Government requirement to remove industry funding from healthcare organisations that could use that funding to promote their own interests.
  • Full access to ALL information surrounding the subject in research as to provide a clear foundation to build off new evidence.

Education

  • Stopping the dependence on industry funding and financial support for educational activities for health professionals.
  • Government barring of accreditation that comes from educational activities supported by the industry.

Practice

  • Reducing the incidences of incorrect practice by decision-makers in the industry.
  • Use of a universal guideline devoid of commercial influences.
  • Incentives to research conducted through government agencies and non-commercialised groups.


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