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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 23, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Transparency about doctors paid by drug companies

Collaboration between doctors and pharmaceutical companies can save lives

I read the op-ed regarding collaborations between pharmaceutical researchers and doctors with some interest [“You’ll soon know how much your doctor gets paid by the drug companies,” Opinion, Feb. 17]. For the past several decades I have benefitted from my doctor’s research with pharmaceutical companies.

In fact as a result, I am alive today. When I was just 22, I developed kidney disease. Today I have grandchildren because my doctor worked with Amgen to create a treatment.

The belief that any doctor who shares their expertise with drug researchers is somehow suspect, is misguided. Important collaborations include clinical trials and research grants, which fuel new medicines. It’s estimated that 70 percent of the money for clinical trials in the United States comes from industry rather than from the National Institutes of Health.

Physicians also know the most about their patients and by sharing knowledge with pharmaceutical professionals about how medicines work for patients, like me. We should encourage the advancement of medical knowledge.

–Patty Wood, Kent

Comments | More in Health care | Topics: Medicine, Pharmaceutical companies

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