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Doctors and the pharmaceutical industry: time for a national policy?

Martin B Van Der Weyden
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (8): 407-408.
Published online: 20 April 2009

Transparency and open communication are key to a healthy relationship

Medical practice these days is influenced to a large extent by clinical practice guidelines. Usually sponsored by professional bodies, these compendia of advice should be produced by groups of experts with broad representation and credibility. These experts are expected to follow clearly defined processes1 to arrive at recommendations that are based on evidence, and which are unadulterated by other influences, such as commercial considerations. Strict adherence to this framework underpins the authority and acceptability of the guideline. But these standards are sometimes not met, and there have been calls for reform to ensure reliability of guidelines, and thereby offer patients protection from treatment based on guidelines whose content may be affected by extraneous influences.2-4

  • Martin B Van Der Weyden

  • Medical Journal of Australia, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: medjaust@ampco.com.au

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