Oncologists who receive payments from industry may be more likely to prescribe non-recommended and low-value treatments.
Putting doctors and other influential health officials on its payroll is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s key business practices and is particularly prevalent in major drug- and vaccine-exporting countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom (UK).
An investigation published in 2016 found that more than 130 officials employed in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) were simultaneously being paid as consultants by pharmaceutical companies. The officials concerned, most of whom are believed to be managers or other senior administrators, were involved in assessing which drugs the NHS should give to patients. Suggesting the actual number who had been taking money from the pharma industry may have been even higher than reported, the Daily Telegraph, the British newspaper that uncovered the story, described the problem as being “systemic” within the NHS.
Providing clear evidence of the extent to which the Pharma Cartel controls healthcare in the UK, the investigation revealed that NHS officials had participated in taking decisions on drugs that were manufactured by some of the same companies they had been taking money from. Tellingly, when first approached by the Daily Telegraph, several of the NHS bodies involved in the scandal initially denied that their staff had carried out consultancy work for the pharma industry. It was only later, when presented with specific names, that they admitted to it.
To learn more about the business practices of the pharmaceutical industry, check out the popular ‘Laws of the Pharmaceutical Industry’ feature on our website.