Hippocrates and hypocrites

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In a new post for Medical Progress Today, ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom describes an unfortunate double blow that Congress has been aiming at doctors: threatening to reduce Medicare reimbursements by 27 percent and attacking interactions between pharmaceutical companies and physicians as necessarily corrupt. Fortunately, Congress relented on the Medicare reimbursement issue and voted to delay the decrease for the rest of 2012. But next year an even greater cut is in the works, unless a permanent solution is found. And as Dr. Bloom explains, such a cut could be disastrous, forcing many doctors to significantly reduce services to Medicare patients.

Dr. Bloom then goes on to describe how Congress actions to expose conflicts of interest, where pharmaceutical companies interact with physicians, is not only hypocritical, but may be harmful to doctors and patients. Left unstated, explains Dr. Bloom, is the fact that new drugs very often have substantial advantages over old ones, [and] doctors, lacking the time to keep current with the literature, may only learn about these new products by meeting with pharmaceutical sales reps.

Read Dr. Bloom s piece in its entirety here.