The Sept. 19 news article “ Duke, UNC scientists lobby for funding” briefly and tangentially addresses the ill-conceived notion espoused by many members of Congress, including our own Sen. Richard Burr, that university scientific research should be funded by the pharmaceutical industry.
Having pharmaceutical companies fund university research that ultimately benefits a company’s bottom line is unethical, if not immoral. It should be illegal.
The National Institutes of Health should fund scientific research. The pharma industry’s malignant and greed-imbued practice of direct-to-consumer television and newspaper advertising is an abomination.
In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has spent enormous sums on advertising and public relations that come in the form of free lunches and junkets for medical practitioners and researchers. The public needs to be aware of the unholy medical-pharmaceutical complex and its unwelcome product of inventing new diseases and pushing pills to cure those diseases.
Half of my clinical time with patients is spent talking them out of taking the drug they saw on television with the promise of a magical cure. It is very much like President Eisenhower’s warning the nation of the problem of a military-industrial complex. We now need to tell the nation about the pharma-medical complex.
Adjunct professor of psychiatry, UNC School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, Raleigh