Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Senator Grassley Takes on Evil Doctors

The Wall Street Journal (4/28, Rockoff) reported:

The Institute of Medicine recommended Tuesday that
doctors, medical schools,professional groups and drug makers
make far-reaching changes to prevent industry gifts and payments
from influencing patient care and research.The IOM, part of the
National Academy of Sciences, proposed the elimination of many
now-common practices. It said doctors, for example, shouldn't
accept meals,trips or other gifts from companies. Nor should
physicians participate in clinical trials if they have a financial
interest in the outcome, or sign on to ghost-written articles.
The IOM also said professional societies shouldn't accept direct
industry funding for the development of guidelines on treating
patients. And it recommended that companies disclose payments
publicly, and in a central place.
The recommendations, contained in a 353-page report,come amid
heightened concern and investigations -- often led by Iowa
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley -- about the impact that industry
gifts and payments have on doctors, medical schools, professional
groups and journals
.



I would like to re-write this little tidbit, to aim it, if you will, where it should really be aimed:

The American
Taxpayer
recommended Tuesday that senators, congressmen, lobbyists, and other industry representatives, and make far-reaching changes to prevent industry gifts and payments from influencing the legislative process. The American Taxpayer, who elects funds and tolerates members of
Congress,
proposed the elimination of many now-common
practices. It said legislators, for example,shouldn't accept meals, trips or other gifts from companies or lobbyists. Nor should legislators participate in junkets or golf outings if they have a financial interest in the outcome. The IOM also said legislators shouldn't accept direct industry funding for the development of guidelines having to do with the same industry. And it recommended that companies and legislators disclose payments publicly, and in a central place.
The recommendations, contained in a 353-page report, come amid
heightened concern and investigations -- often led by the American Taxpayer-- about the impact that industry gifts and payments have on Senators, Congressman, their aides, and family members as well.

See also, "Reforming Medical Ethics," my blog published on 7 March 2009

5 comments:

Glenn said...

This is a great post for so many reasons.

1) You should love Chuck Grassley. He is one of the most fiscally conservative senators in DC. He's one of the leading proponents of paygo.

2) Almost all of the writing in pink has already happened, thanks in large part to many of the infamous names on the right-hand side of your page. Congressmen and senators CAN'T accept meals from lobbyists and CAN't go on golf junkets anymore. All campaign contributions over $25 ARE REQUIRED to be displayed publicly. (more info here http://citizen.typepad.com/watchdog_blog/2007/08/congress-delive.html and here http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33065.pdf).

Who knew that Desman was a raging liberal?

Desman said...

Well, I am shocked, but I find it hard to believe that lobbyists cant finagle a way to get money into the pockets of our fearless leaders. Not all of them are wealthy when they are elected to Congress, but they are ALL wealthy when they retire. My opinion of Grassley has nothing to do with his party, and I might very well agree with him on many other thins. But on this matter, he has lumped himself in with Henry Waxman and Fortney "Pete" Stark.

Glenn said...

Powerful interests tend to follow this model - (http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/drugs/2004-12-15-drugs-usat_x.htm).

My question: are you against these rules for the medical industry or do you just wish that they were imposed on Congress in the same way?

As a patient, it is infuriating to be prescribed brand drugs, without being told about the existence of a generic form.

Desman said...

I am in favor of them for the medical industry, but they go too far. Come on, a sales rep cant give me a cheap pen? Its not that I want the pen, its that I am insulted that the geniuses in Congress think my morals are so weak that I would prescribe something because I was given a chep pen. Moral weakness is much more common among politicians than among physicians, I guarantee it. And, I NEVER write DAW, and I always steer patients towards generics when one is available. Dont get me started on the price of prescription drugs. Xalatan, a glaucoma medication, retails for about $800,000/gm.

manuel jorge said...

Really interesting post.it doesn't seem like they're able to reduce costs in any way. Their budgets are being cut; their health insurance costs are going sky high. What can be done about that?
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