Chapter

How did it Happen?

Jerome P. Kassirer

in On the Take

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195300048
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850518 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300048.003.0009
How did it Happen?

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This chapter explores how money came to exert such a remarkable influence over the medical profession. It considers some of the factors that made many of America's doctors pay more attention to their own desires than to the health of their patients. It proposes that the runaway cost of care, changing financial incentives, inflated income expectations, falling physicians' income, changes in patent law, and substantial influence of industry on medical research were essential ingredients. Societal and cultural factors also contributed heavily. Putting “business strategies” on a high pedestal encouraged many in medicine to ignore a long-held principle that the patient comes first, and a permissive attitude outside of medicine toward financial conflicts of interest, undoubtedly led many to think that such arrangements were also acceptable inside the walls of health care. The new complicity with industry spread like an infectious disease through a community.

Keywords: medical profession; physicians; conflict of interest; cost of care; financial incentives; inflated income expectations

Chapter.  8179 words. 

Subjects: Economic Systems

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