January 18, 2017—Patient advocacy groups and private practice oncologists frequently parrot the drug industry about the 340B drug discount program. New research in JAMA Internal Medicine sheds light on why that might be. [ms-protect-content id=”2799″]
A national survey found that two out of three patient advocacy groups get funding from for-profit companies, with the largest share coming from the drug industry. A second study found that nearly four out of five U.S. hematologist-oncologists who use Twitter have financial conflicts of interest.
“The very way we all think about disease—and the best ways to research, define, prevent, and treat it—is being subtly distorted because so many of the ostensibly independent players, including patient advocacy groups, are largely singing tunes acceptable to companies seeking to maximize markets for drugs and devices,” researchers Ray Moynihan and Lisa Bero wrote in an accompanying commentary in the medical journal.
The survey of patient advocacy groups found that 12 percent got more than half of their funding from industry. Overall, 45 percent of the groups’ industry funding came from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and/or biotechnology sectors.
The second study found that 44.3 percent of hematologist-oncologists on Twitter got more than $1,000 in consulting fees, travel, lodging, food, and drinks from the drug and/or medical device industries. The researchers recommended that, at a minimum, physicians on Twitter should disclose their industry funding in their Twitter user biographies.
Finding ties to the drug industry often isn’t hard. A quick search of an advocacy group’s corporate sponsors can be illuminating.
Register – 340B Coalition Winter Conference – February 1-3, 2017 – San Francisco, Calif. [/ms-protect-content]