There are other issues to be aware of:
- if we were to limit the marketing/'education seminars' by drug companies, how do doctors gain information about new drugs? There are not many scientifically reputable, peer-reviewed publications (they are independent of drug company interference in what they publish, and how articles are written). The Australian Medical Journal, the British Medical Journal are two, but how many doctors subscribe, and have the time to read thoroughly? Perhaps summaries could be provided through the AMA at reduced subscription, or through the PBS itself to doctors.
- the ethics of doctors accepting the drug company offers. It is almost unthinkable that doctors do not know they are being manipulated and (ab)used by drug companies. Yet they still accept the "gifts".
- there are suggestions in the SMH 30-June-07 about fraudulent or "doctored" research (pun intended!)
- The primary goal of drug companies "sponsored & doctored" research is to gain PBS approval and sell, sell, sell, at almost any cost. It was only last year they had to be almost forced to remove Celebrex and Vioxx from the market, after denying and obfuscating about the deaths they caused. This year, the same levels of delay and obfuscation were used when side-effects of the sleeping tablet Stilnox became known.