Læger uden sponsor (Physicians without sponsor) is a network of Danish physicians and medical students founded in 2004 to promote independence from commercial influence in both clinical work, research and education.
An important issue for the network is to raise awareness about conflicts of interest in health care brought about by sponsoring, research cooperation and gifts from commercial stakeholders.
Our perception of the different roles in health care and some of the available evidence are described in “WE ACKNOWLEDGE“.
The network has several contact persons (further below) available for colleagues, the media and other organisations.
- Agents in health care do not have common interests at all times. The physicians´primary loyalty lies with the patients, the health care providers´ with the citizens, both healthy and sick, whereas the pharmaceutical industry primarily serves the interests of their shareholders.
- Confluence of economic interest with one or more pharmaceutical companies influences physicians´ attitudes towards medication (N Engl J Med 1998;338:101-6).
- Reserch funding can influence both the reported results (BMJ 2003;326:1167-1170) and the conclusions (JAMA. 2003;290:921-928) in articles on clinical studies.
- Participation in symposia and conferences sponsered by the pharmaceutical industry as well as acceptance of dinner and travel invitations raise the probability to prescribe the sponsor´s products (Chest. 1992; 102:270-273 JAMA 2000;283:373-80).
- Physicians are influenced by marketing (Am J Med 1982;73:4-8), and even small gifts can influence their behaviour (Am J Bioeth. 2003;3:39-46).
- The visit of drug reps influences physicians´ prescribing (Family Practice 2003;20:61-68)
- The debate in other countries (e.g. No Free Lunch and Leger mot økt kommersialisering og korrupsjon) on the relationship of physicians to commercial agents in health care is necessary in Denmark as well.
WE WANT TO…
- Raise awareness about bias in research and publication of research results due to commercial funding
- Stand up against disease mongering (making the healthy sick to earn money)
- Contribute to a discussion about how physicians use public funds and about which consequences conflicts of interest have on physicians´guidance of patients
- Support all efforts to ensure continuous medical education independent from commercial interest (e.g. from pharmaceutical companies)
- Contribute to greater tranparency about conflicts of interests in health care
- Declare relevant own conflicts of interest and refrain from funding or sponsoring by the pharmaceutical industry at written or oral presentations – regardless of whether the recipients are health care professionals, politicians, media or lay people
- Strengthen rational, research-based, patient-centered and ethically enlightened practice in clinical, research and educational work
- Try to reestablish patients´ trust in physicians as independent advisors seeking just allocation of public ressources in health care
Scientific literature about the effects of sponsoring and marketing in health care
- How are the behaviour, the perceptions and the attitudes of physicians influenced?
- Can we trust information provided by pharmaceutical companies?
- Can we trust scientific studies sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry?
- How are guidelines and scientific opinion influenced by conflicts of interest?
- Effects of free drug samples etc
- Systematic litterature reviews
- Comments and editorials
- Drug Promotion Data Base (WHO/NGO) – A database with all articles on marketing in the pharmaceutical area
Peter Gøtzsche +45 35 45 71 12. Mail
Bias in medical research. Independent information to health care professionals and the general public.
Preben Holme Jørgensen +45 47 19 45 00 Mail
General Practice. Pharmacological research, clinical use and information independent of commercial interest.
Mats Lindberg +45 20 93 09 79 Mail
Internal Medicine. Rheumatology. Pharmacological information independent of commercial interest. Commercial stakeholders´ influence on clinical research. Conflicts of interest in health care. Disease-mongering. Health care economics.
Lisbeth Kortegaard +45 22 48 64 15 Mail
Child and adolescent psychiatry, psychiatry, medicalisation, disease-mongering.
Thorsten Schumann +45 28 99 47 02 Mail
Child and adolescent psychiatry. Off-label use. Conflicts of interest in health care.
Lars Kristian Storr +45 44 69 22 33 Mail
Andreas Lundh, +45 50 22 52 98 Mail
Conflicts of interest in health care. Impact of company-funded research.
John Brodersen, +45 20276181 Mail
General Practice. Prevention. How healthy people are made patients (medicalisation and sygeliggørelse). Informed consent. Medical ethics. Overdiagnosis and thereby overtreatment (disease mogering, diagnostic drift and identification of accidental abnormalities and pathological changes).