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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
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Drug Companies and Doctors

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Marcia Angell, former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and author of "The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It." has written recently in the New York Review of Books about three books critical of the pharmaceutical industry and its relationship with doctors and clinicians: Side Effects by Alison Bass, Our Daily Meds by Melody Petersen and Shyness by Christopher Lane. Ms. Angell identifies conflicts of interest and bias in medicine that arise from the relationship between multi-billion dollar drug companies and doctors. Angell writes on page 12:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor in of The New England Journal of Medicine.

She describes two disturbing trends:

1. The increasing prevalence of "off label uses"

2. Off label use of drugs for children.

Drugs for psychiatric conditions are of particular concern she says. She raises concern about how the law should treat these problems.