Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pfizer cuts on Education.....What abour Us?

Does anyone read the WSJ Health Blog? I do....everyone should.

In a post yesterday they say

Doctors and pharmaceutical companies have been getting beat up lately for their intimate ties (see here, here and here). Now Pfizer is backing off a bit from one of its connections to medical practice: funding for physicians’ continuing medical education, or CME, courses.


“The reason we’re not going to directly support them has to do with mitigating the perception of a conflict of interest, if a direct payment is going from a company like Pfizer to them,” Cathryn Clary, VP of US external medical affairs, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Ahh, the ol' conflict of interests argument. Why do they get hit with that, but the Nephrologist teaching residents does not get hit with that? Here is why?

Hippocrates asks all of us to teach those who wish to learn.....Did he understand that creating doctors did not create competition? I think so. In fact........educating physicians does not create creates market share.

This is why I am not surprised by Pfizer's stance....interestingly enough...

The drug maker has decided to end payments for CME are provided by for-profit, third-party companies. It will continue funding courses offered by academic medical centers, teaching hospitals and medical societies.

What makes me laugh is that the 3rd parties are probably making less off of CMEs than the huge academic Behoemeth's like Harvard........

In fact the Genetic Basis of Adult Disease course is well attended and the course costs a whopping 650 USD....but the course may fall to the wayside! Why? They cannot meet budget.....My guess is that the institution gets a huge vig for any CME course....leaving the directors with little to work with in budget.....Just a hunch...

So.....there you have it....Pfizer openly acknowledging that providing CMEs to doctors is a conflict of interests.......I wonder if any of the genetic testing businesses have thought about that? Do you think Myriad will pull back its sponsorships? What about us at Helix? Nawh...we're physicians I guess we are exempt.....sort of.

I wonder what the other corporate testing companies will do to respond to that? Do they even plan on doing CMEs? (I took the 5 question Navigenics test for CMEs....) Hopefully, they will prepare a defense to the argument which Pfizer has heard over the last 20 years......or maybe they will heed Pfizer and not get into the education business at all...

The Sherpa Says:
The physicians at Helix Health of Connecticut will always do their utmost to teach the public and other physicians....regardless of the "Conflict of Interests" Why? Patient care is in all of our interests.

1 comment:

rv dealers said...

Its all business . Believe it or not