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Clin Dermatol. 2012 Mar-Apr;30(2):188-91. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2011.06.006.

The ethics of the medical-pharmaceutical relationship.

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Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, H100, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Physician interaction with the pharmaceutical industry raises many ethical concerns. This relationship is complex, owing to a pluralism of beliefs held by physicians, patients, and third parties. As a result, determining whether physicians fulfill their responsibilities to both the professional and public communities is an arduous endeavor. In an effort to clarify the situation and provide transparency to this complex relationship, medical and pharmaceutical organizations have enacted their own respective codes and guidelines. Even with adherence to these guidelines, questions remain regarding the codependent relationship that interweaves the pharmaceutical industry with the medical community. Owing to the ever-changing landscape enmeshing product development, scientific advancement, corporate realities and patient care, the proper choice for physicians is rarely obvious; however, to operate to the highest standards, those in the medical community must be candid about relations with the pharmaceutical industry and transparent in their financial interests. Further undertakings should focus not on the eradication of physician-pharmaceutical interaction, but instead on the education of physicians about industry marketing strategies and the delineation of boundaries of these interactions to benefit not the individual physician, but our patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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