A group of prominent doctors has launched a campaign calling for an urgent enquiry into the “murky” practices of the drugs industry.
The six doctors, who include the Queen’s former physician Sir Richard Thompson and the eminent cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, warn that too often patients are given drugs that are useless – and sometimes harmful – drugs that they do not need.
Writing for MailOnline this week Dr Malhotra said that commercial conflicts of interest are contributing to an “epidemic of misinformed doctors and misinformed patients in the UK and beyond”. And he warned that the NHS was “over-treating” its patients, claiming that the side effects of too much medicine was leading directly to countless deaths.
The doctors claim that the NHS is failing to stand up to the drugs companies, who they say are “gaming the system” by spending twice as much on marketing as they do on research.
Dr Malhotra added: There is no doubt that a ‘more medicine is better’ culture lies at the heart of modern healthcare. This is exacerbated by financial incentives within the system to prescribe more drugs and carry out more procedures – regardless of whether it benefits patients.