Mens Sana Monographs, III,4-5, Nov. 2005-Feb. 2006, p19- 51
The Tenth Monograph:
Where is Medicine
Heading? Pointers and Directions from Recent Law Suits Against Industry:
As A Corporate Enterprise, Patient Welfare Centered Profession,
Or Patient Welfare Centered Professional Enterprise?, Mens Sana Monographs, III:4-5, Nov 2005 - Feb 2006.
Ajai R. Singh
of the medical man have multiplied beyond imagination. The cost of organizing conferences is no longer possible on delegate
fees. The bottom-line is: Crores for a Conference, Millions for a Mid-Term. However, the problem is that sponsors keep a discreet
but careful tab on docs. All in all, costs of medicines escalate, and quality medical care becomes a luxury. The whole brunt
of this movement is borne by the patient.
like GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Schering-Plough, Abbott Labs, TAP Pharmaceuticals,Wyeth
and Merck have paid millions of dollars each as compensation in the last few years. The financial condition of many pharmaceutical
majors is not buoyant either. Price deflation, increased Rand D spending, and litigation costs are the main reasons. In the
future, the messy lawsuits
situation would no longer be restricted to industry. It would involve academia and practicing doctors as well.
Indian pharma industry captains, who were
busy raking in the profits at present, would also come under the scanner. If nothing else, it means industry
and docs will have to sit down and do some soul searching.
and long-term measures will have to be put into place. Short-term measures involve reduction in i) pharma spending over junkets
and trinkets; ii) hype over ‘me too’ drugs; iii) manipulation of drug trials; iv) getting pliant researchers into
drug trials; iv) manipulation of Journal Editors to publish positive findings about their drug trials and launches; v) and
for Indian Pharma, to conduct their own unbiased clinical trial of the latest drug projected as a blockbuster in the West,
before pumping in their millions.
measures are related to the way biomedical advance is to be charted. We have to decide whether medicine is to become a corporate
enterprise or remain a patient welfare centered profession. A third approach involves an eclectic resolution of the two. Such
amount of patient welfare as also ensures profit, and such amount of profit as also ensures patient welfare is to be forwarded.
For, profit, without patient welfare, is blind. And patient welfare, without profit, is lame. According to this approach,
medicine becomes a patient welfare centered professional enterprise.
ramifications of each of these approaches are discussed in this monograph.
Law Suits Against Industry, Price Deflation, Increased R and D Spending, Litigation Costs, ‘Me Too’ Drugs, Medicine As A Corporate
Enterprise, Medicine as a Patient Welfare Centered Profession, Medicine As A Patient Welfare Centered Professional Enterprise, Professional or Business Ethics in Medicine
Mens Sana Monographs [MSM]: A Mens Sana Research Foundation Publication