Filthy Lucre

Filthy Lucre

We all like money. I certainly do. It makes life easier and we all enjoy the benefits that money brings.

What would you do for money? At what point could you be unable to look yourself in the mirror? Where would you draw the line? It is probably different for everyone. Johnny Rocco is not my role model; I tend towards the other extreme. I have taken one thing from a drug representative in the last 23 years. The Pfizer rep sent me a Fleets enema with a Unasyn sticker on it, I suspect, as a sign of disrespect. I keep it on my desk.

I think in health care it is the important to not have the appearance and reality of financial bias. I do not want to look like a Nascar driver with advertisements plastered all over my white coat. This site will be supported by members, not big pharma.

The best of example of what not to do was in the late 1990’s. It was summed up nicely at Quackwatch:

On July 31, 1988, the American Medical Association announced that it would pay $9.9 million to the Sunbeam Corporation to settle a breach-of-contract suit. The settlement amount included $7.9 million in damages and $2 million for the company’s attorneys’ fees and other out-of-pocket expenses. The suit was filed in September 1997 after the AMA announced it would not honor an exclusive 5-year royalty agreement under which the AMA logo would have been placed on Sunbeam’s “Health at Home” products, which included heating pads and humidifiers. The endorsement plan, which had no requirement that the AMA test the products, was widely criticized by ethicists, physicians, and newspaper editorialists who accused the AMA of compromising its credibility. After the AMA Board of Trustees voted to withdraw from the deal, Sunbeam filed suit for breach of contract. An investigative report on the management decisions leading to the contract led the AMA’s chief executive officer and two other top AMA executives to resign. The trustees also appointed a task force to develop standards for future business arrangements.

It is hard to find pseudo-medical websites that are not plastered with ads for products, often for brands by the owners of the site. Many seem to exist as pseudo-infomercials. It amazes me how often those of us in the science-based medicine world are credited with being motivated by big pharma when it is not true. The AMA, appropriately, was derided for lending their reputation to humidifiers. But it is not an issue for those in the world of pseudo-medicine. They can sell ANYTHING and it apparently has no effect on their credibility.

Maybe it was just a matter of timing. The moral landscape has certainly changed. The entrepreneurial spirit has more cachet than in the past. Greed is good and perhaps Johnny Rocco and the AMA were simply ahead of their time.

Look at Dr. Weil. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona. Full professor. And a shill for big bedding:

“This is the first mattress that Weil, the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, has endorsed.”

And it is no big deal.

To quote Ambrose Bierce:

 ‘I was born of poor because honest parents, and until I was twenty-three years old never knew the possibilities of happiness latent in another person’s coin…I collected my few belongings, bade adieu to my erring parents and departed out of that land, pausing at the grave of my grandfather, who had been a priest, to take an oath that never again, Heaven helping me, would I earn an honest penny.’

He would have done well in pseudo-medicine.

Points of Interest: 1/16/2014
Points of Interest: 1/15/2014

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