1. Big Pharma aims to corrupt doctors. Pierre Frouard, GP and a contributor to Prescrire magazine, published by the association Mieux Prescrire [Prescribe Better]. FALSE – Corruption is illegal and remains very rare. On the other hand, there are legal ways to influence doctors, for example through gifts or contracts. Since 2013, under the terms of the Bertrand law of 2011, such gifts and contracts must be listed online, and this information can be accessed by anyone, for example via www.eurosfordocs.fr. Ironically, this effort at transparency, put in place following the Mediator scandal in 2010, serves to legitimize such practices. Studies show that gift-giving induces the recipient to respond by giving something in return. The problem is that doctors aren’t always aware of how they are being influenced, and this influence can begin very early in one’s career. A medical student surrounded by doctors who accept such gifts can, little by little, come to believe that this is just standard practice. According to a study I recently coordinated, which confirms the results of earlier studies, general practitioners who did not receive any gifts between 2013 and 2016 had a better record concerning prescriptions: their prescriptions were generally both cheaper and more effective. The good news is that young doctors are becoming more and more aware of the importance of maintaining their independence. 2. Leading pharmaceuticals companies lobby to discredit unconventional medicines. Annabelle Champagne (M.08), pharmacist, managing director and founder of Wi Pharma, an application for the distribution of pharmaceutical and […]
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