Index Home About Blog
From: "Howard McCollister" <>
Subject: Re: doctors conducting surveys
Date: 16 May 2005 08:18:07 -0500
Message-ID: <42889d30$0$50235$>

"Allan Adler" <> wrote in message

> I think it's well known that some doctors do a certain kind of research
> in which a pharmaceutical company will give them samples of some  medication
> and the doctor will report to the company on how well it seemed to work.
> I don't remember the details of such arrangements as reported in the news,
> but in cases where it makes the company look good, I think the doctor gets
> to publish it. Anyway, what I'm wondering is whether doctors ever collect
> data on patients and report it in surveys. I understand that patients are
> entitled to confidentiality but it might be a technical point of law whether
> confidentiality is violated if the information used in the survey doesn't
> explicitly identify any patients. For example, the doctor might simply keep
> track of what percentage of patients fall into certain demographic, medical
> or other categories. So, I'm wondering whether there is any kind of research
> like that done by doctors.
> --

Doctors commonly do such clinical research. If patients are not identified,
there are no confidentiality implications. Sometimes, usually in larger
institutions, such research activity is sponsored but in most private
practices there is no such relationship. If a drug company wants to have a
large study that makes their drug look favorable, they will usually approach
a well-known doctor at a large institution and fund such a study, including
a stipend for the researcher. Often the drug company retains the rights to
the study and can make the decision as to whether or not they want to submit
it for publication. This is generally looked upon by most physicians as
being a rather questionable practice and mostly such doctors are referred to
as prostitutes around the doctor's lounge.

Sample medications are provided by drug companies to medical practices all
the time - nothing to do with clinical research. This is a routine part of
pharmaceutical marketing.


Index Home About Blog