The Atlantic, May 9, 2013
The pharmaceutical industry is held in remarkably low esteem right now. It's seen as a bunch of nefarious pushers who pay off vulnerable doctors to prescribe their latest expensive, mediocre product. Physicians who work with pharma companies are considered especially suspect, routinely described as "cozy," "in bed with industry," and "on the take." CEO of Kaiser Permanente Robert Pearl wrote last month in a Wall Street Journal commentary, "Patients will continue to be at risk for potential harm until physicians themselves stop participating in these relationships [with industry]." He added that Kaiser, a managed care consortium of almost 15,000 physicians and 9 million patients, prohibits physicians from "being paid to 'consult' with drug and device companies."