Sunday, March 8, 2009

Big Pharma Funding Harvard Education

A Harvard medical student had a hunch something was wrong when the Professor continuously highlighted the benefits of certain cholesterol drugs even belittling a student when he asked about its side effects. The Student, Mathew Zerden went on-line and quickly found the Professor was not only a full-time professor at Harvard, but a consultant to ten drug companies, including five makers of cholesterol treatment. Surprise surprise.

Zerden felt violated that the independence of Harvard was not as pure as it should be. This is another story in the growing corporatization of every industry. We need to question everything emanating from these institutions including studies that are so-called "independent." It is disheartening to say the least that our greatest medical institution is bought and sold just like our politicians. "First Do No Harm" may no longer be the motto to be replaced with: "First, look out for yourself and make profit before you do no harm."

The students formed a group of more than 200 Harvard medical students and professors concerned with the influence of drug companies on the classroom, laboratories and teaching hospitals. The group says Harvard should be embarrassed by the recent F grade it received from the American Medical Student Association, a national group that rates how well medical schools monitor and control drug industry money. Yale received a C, Columbia and Stanford a B and UPenn received an A.
Drug companies, held responsible for destroying health care 15 years ago will go on the attack soon. Most likely, they have begun the attack, but what are we to do? If we allow this influence into our classrooms and into teaching hospitals at our most prestigious universities and for the care of patients what is to stop them for their undue influence in Washington? This a huge problem. I do not believe capitalism goes hand and hand with public health, not without some regulations, it is that simple. But, of course when we continue to seek to describe capitalism as synonymous with democracy that is our first mistake. Shame on Harvard.

Read the rest of the article here.

5 comments:

Students for Compensated Corporate Education said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Students for Compensated Corporate Education said...

I'm afraid this post completely misses the point. The problem isn't the "influence of the drug companies" that you note, but rather the influence of the University. The solution is simple--we must cut out the economically inefficient University middleman and allow students to contract directly with their corporate benefactors. Students are already organizing to do just that at www.compeded.com

Kid Radical said...

Are you tounge in cheeking me or are do you subscribe to fascism?

Students for Compensated Corporate Education said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Students for Compensated Corporate Education said...

Students for Compensated Corporate Education (SCCE) is at the forefront of the current higher education revolution. Started in North Carolina, where our venerable public university system began partnering with business back in 2005 to allow corporations pay to have their material taught, SCCE knows firsthand the opportunities and the pitfalls of market-based higher education. SCCE understands that recent developments will leave students behind if the anti-market, ivory tower elitist are allowed to charge corporations for the labor of students while continuing to charge the students themselves. Our rallying cry is: “No indoctrination without compensation!” We are committed to eliminating the economically wasteful university middleman by the year 2025. That mission begins with our August 24, 2009 “Cut out the Middleman Syllabus Auction” in which students will be able to sell their academic work directly to corporations. Check out our website here.