Can the relationship between doctors and drug companies ever be a healthy one?

Emma D’Arcy, Ray Moynihan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background to the debate: The financial ties between doctors and drug companies have come under intense scrutiny in recent years. Some commentators - such as Marcia Angell, former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine - argue that the mission of doctors is fundamentally different to the mission of drug companies and that the ties between them should be completely cut. "Drug companies are investor owned businesses with a responsibility to maximise profits for their shareholders", says Angell (BMJ 338 (2009), b222). "That is quite different from the mission of the medical profession, which is to provide the best care possible for patients". Other commentators have argued that clinicians and drug companies do have some shared goals in aiming to maximize human health. In this debate, Emma D’Arcy, co-founder of a social networking site that facilitates interactions between doctors and drug companies, argues that it would be valuable to the public if we could establish "authentic alliances" between these professionals. But journalist Ray Moynihan argues that such alliances are prone to the corrupting influence of pharmaceutical industry money, and that disentanglement is a healthier alternative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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