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No Free Lunch: Docs take arms against drug company 'incentives'
About the author: 

OK, it's time to come clean

OK, it's time to come clean. Not all doctors are bad guys, despite our title. In fact, there's a group of them in America and the UK who've formed themselves into a great little organisation called 'No Free Lunch'.

They're opposed to the overt and covert inducements offered by the pharmaceutical industry to 'encourage' doctors to prescribe their wares. Perversely, the No Free Lunch doctors believe that a doctor's first responsibility is to the patient, not to the shareholders of drug companies.

The founder is Dr Bob Goodman, a general internist practising in New York. He's been joined in the UK by Dr Des Spence, a GP working in Glasgow, who describes himself as a reformed 'pharma junkie'.

They believe that the pharmaceutical industry has so insinuated itself into medicine that even staff canteens are sponsored by drug companies. For its part, medicine is in denial over this, says Goodman and Spence, and tacitly sees this as some kind of right.

The UK arm of No Free Lunch can be found at:

E-news broadcast 24 August 2006 No.286 [Subscribe]

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