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.
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