The Health Inc: Corporations, capitalism & the commercial determinants of health seminar series is co-hosted by the Centre for Global Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.
About This Seminar
Representatives of medically-related industry, including pharmaceutical, medical device, infant formula, food, and health technology companies, are present within healthcare settings on a day-to-day basis, providing education or clinical support. Industry expertise is generally considered necessary to inform clinicians about new developments in the field and for the safe and competent use of drugs, devices, and equipment. Companies also routinely sponsor educational events for health professionals, research, and other services and projects that are not funded through the public health system. However. most industry representatives work concurrently in a sales capacity, creating competing incentives that are not always consistent with health system or patient interests. To date, most research and policy scrutiny of relationships between health professionals and industry has focused on physicians. Studies have found that even nominal payments from drug manufacturers to physicians, including free food and beverages, are associated with increased prescribing of higher-cost, brand name drugs. Though understudied, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, and other members of the interprofessional healthcare team also routinely interact with industry representatives including serving as ‘key opinion leaders,’ and receive industry payments for research, education, consulting, advising, and speaking for industry, much like their physician colleagues. In this interactive workshop, an interprofessional panel will describe and discuss the nature of relationships with industry within their field and participants will work through case studies to discuss strategies to ethically interact with industry in ways that are consistent with the interests of patients and the public health system.