Sanctioned MDs as Clinical Investigators

This sort of follows the conversation about MDs vs PhDs with regard to their ethics training (discussion following recent ORI report … and even more over at Adventures in Ethics & Science) but mainly relates to whether pharm industry is responsibly conducting research. Ah, “this” being a report in the NYT today about physicians sanctioned by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice being paid on a per-patient basis by drug companies to support clinical trials (despite their neglence having contributed to the deaths of patients in their care). Data are only available from Minnesota since the state has made data available regarding pharm industry payments to practitioners. In addition to the multitude of ethics issues related to the practice of using physicians whose license to practice medicine has/had been restricted/suspended, questions must be raised as to validity of the data being collected by such “investigators” … which in turn affect decisions of drug approval and so on.

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