뉴욕타임즈 사설: 누구를 이롭게 하려는 것인가?

Editorial: WHOSE BEST INTEREST?
  조회:  3,300   등록 일자: September 26   카테고리: 
Two drug companies have announced that they will publicly disclose some of their payments to doctors starting next year. But the two companies fell short of complete disclosure, and the industry as a whole lags far behind. Legislation to establish a wide-ranging nationwide reporting system is still needed. 두 개의 제약회사들이 명년부터 자기들이 의사들에게 지불하는 것들의 일부를 공개하겠다고 발표했다. 그러나 이 두 회사들은 완전한 공개까지는 가지 못했다. 제약업계 전체를 놓고 보면 이 방면의 노력이 훨씬 더 뒤떨어져 있다. 광범위하게 전국적으로 공개되는 제도를 만들기 위한 입법 조치가 아직 되어 있지 못하다. Patients need to know that doctors are prescribing particular drugs for sound medical reasons — not because drug companies have bought their doctors’ loyalty. 환자들은 의사들이 어느 특정한 약을 처방할 때 건전한 의학적 이유로 처방하고 있는 것이지 제약회사들이 의사들의 충성심을 샀기 때문이 아니라는 것을 알 필요가 있다. The companies certainly spend large amounts of money plying doctors with gifts, hosting them at plush resorts where drug products are promoted, and paying them to deliver or attend lectures or for consulting or research. Some of the payments are for legitimate services, others look like improper inducements, and all have a potential to influence a doctor’s prescribing habits. 제약회사들은 의사들에게 부지런히 선물을 보내거나, 약품을 선전하는 행사를 위해 고급 리조트로 의사들을 초청한다거나, 강의를 부탁하거나 강의에 참석토록 한 다음 사례금을 지불한다거나, 컨설팅이나 리서치를 의뢰한다거나 하는 방법을 쓰는 데 막대한 돈을 쓰고 있는 것이 확실하다. 어떤 지출은 정상적인 서비스에 대한 대가이지만, 어떤 지출은 온당치 않은 유인책처럼 보인다. 여하 간에 모든 지불 행위는 의사들의 처방 습관에 영향을 줄 가능성을 내포하고 있다. Eli Lilly announced that, starting next year, it would post in an online database all of its payments to doctors for speaking and consulting services, two of the most easily abused categories of payments. Merck said it would disclose payments made to physicians “who speak on behalf of our company or our products.” These pledges are a step in the right direction and ought to be emulated by all other pharmaceutical companies. But voluntary piecemeal disclosures are not enough. A sound Senate bill, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, would establish a mandatory national registry of payments to physicians. The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Senators Charles Grassley and Herb Kohl, would require reporting by drug companies and the manufacturers of medical devices, medical supplies and biological medicines. Companies would have to disclose not only speaking and consulting fees but a wide range of other payments to physicians, like stock options, profit distributions, ownership or investment interests, gifts, travel and entertainment, and payment for clinical investigations. The bill is endorsed by Lilly, Merck and the chief pharmaceutical trade association, and has the support of many medical authorities. The next Congress should move quickly to pass the legislation. Patients have a right to know who else is paying their doctors and why. (ⓒ 2008 The New York Times) (ⓒ 2008 www.usabriefing.net)
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