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Doctors: Taught Propaganda & Marketing

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

Chapter 10: Article 5

Many doctors like to refer to vaccines as miracle product.

To make such a bold statement, that must be based upon extensive learning about how vaccines cause miraculous changes within the human body. 

Well let's learn about a doctor's extensive vaccine education, from one of the most respected vaccine experts, Dr. Paul Offit. He says:

There are medical schools that don't teach vaccination. I give two vaccine lectures to our University of Pennsylvania medical students, and I had to ask to do that. At the time, no one did it.

If you've ever listened to Paul Offit speak, you've heard him state that there isn’t a single good reason to not vaccinate. And that leads us back to 1984, when HHS stated for the public record:

...any possible doubts, whether or not well founded, about the safety of the vaccine cannot be allowed to exist in view of the need to assure that the vaccine will continue to be used to the maximum extent consistent with the nation’s public health objectives.

HHS is the highest level of government for all things health related. If the highest level of government states that propaganda must be used, to ensure maximum vaccine uptake, do you think propaganda-free information is provided to doctors?

Obviously the propaganda is taught to everyone, doctors included.

When doctors realize there is more to the vaccine story than what is broadcast by media or the Health Authority, they often state that their shock and anger lies in realizing that their education was woefully inadequate and misleading. Every doctor I’ve ever heard speak out about their vaccine education said that IF there was instruction given about vaccines, that education focused solely on the benefits of vaccination – such discussion was summed up as vaccines prevent illness, vaccines are miracles and that the creation of vaccines was the greatest achievement in medicine in the 20th century.  Here and Here

These doctors have shared that their vaccine education involved memorizing the vaccine schedule, with instruction emphasizing the need to stick to the schedule. Many informed doctors today express their concern that lectures are focused on teaching physicians how to persuade patients to accept a vaccine, even when the patient is hesitant, instead of informing their patients about the benefits, risks and alternatives to this medical intervention. By only explaining the benefits of this procedure, such action is in direct violation of "informed consent," which is one of the medical ethical principles established from the Nuremberg Code. Those principles are explained in greater detail in Ch8: Article 4.

If you think doctors could never unwittingly play a role in the propaganda machine, think again.

Separate from vaccine propaganda, is the reality that pharmaceutical influence within the medical institutions is extensive.

 To quote a published study titled, Pharma influence widespread at medical schools, the study explains that medical students are not taught how to evaluate this pharmaceutical influence. The research explains:

Medical students aren’t given enough instruction in the types of conflicts of interest and their implications, warn some physicians.

Recent research has revealed widespread pharmaceutical influence and weak institutional safeguards in Canadian medical schools. But lecturers, medical students and ethicists are far from united on the extent to which relations with industry are acceptable and what role universities should play in preparing students to withstand influence.

Shnier thinks all lectures — offered by external experts or faculty — should be free of industry ties. “There are enough independent researchers and independent physicians who are knowledgeable about the topics that are taught in medical schools.”

She adds that “schools could agree to only present evidence that’s independent of drug company material,” although she recognizes companies would necessarily be the source for clinical trials of new branded drugs.

Dr. Marcia Angell, a lecturer at Harvard medical school, spoke to a group of doctors about what she discovered during her medical career, working as both an editor and Editor-in-Chief for the New England journal of Medicine. She wrote a book, The Truth About the Drug Companies. During her lecture on this topic she stated:

Now I'd like [to explain], the roughly $70 billion the top 10 American drug companies spent on marketing last year [2011]. Where does all that money go? The industry will publicly account for only the amount it spends on sales representatives, they send out about 100,000 sales representatives to haunt your doctors' offices, they'll account for that, and direct to consumer advertising, and for the advertising in medical journals. But that's only a tiny part of the total. And this is the total that they disclose in their SEC filings and their annual reports. These three functions...are a small part of [of the $70 billion]. In fact they could have cost the top 10 more than $15 billion dollars last year. That's an estimate, no more. That left $55 billion unaccounted for, $55 billion dollars totally unaccounted for. This is a lot of money to leave lying around without a word about what it's for. It is the elephant in the living room.

So where does that money go, well we can make some guesses. And here is a list of guesses:

  • Lobbying

  • Political contributions

  • Front groups (patient advocacy and policy organizations)

  • Gifts to institutions (medical schools, community and cultural organizations)

  • "Education" of doctors

    • CME [Continuing Medical Education]

    • Professional societies

    • Medical Conferences

    • Educational materials

    • Gifts, meals, and junkets

What doctors learn:

  • Drug-intensive style of medicine

  • Expensive new drugs better

  • Expanded indications

Angell explained the first 4 bullet points - lobbying, political contributions, front groups, and gifts to institutions - saying (emphasis mine):

That's a lot of money, but it's not $55 billion. Where does that $55 billion go? Well I think it goes, mainly here, into the Education of doctors.

Drug companies pay for most continuing medical education, which doctors have to get in order to keep their licenses, their state licenses. They pay for most of that. They sponsor most of the big professional societies. They subsidize their meetings, they pay for other medical conferences, educational materials, gifts, meals, junkets. No doctor has to pay for any of his own meals if he doesn't want to...this is a lot of money. Well why? Why all this largesse to doctors?

It's simple. They write the prescriptions. Prescription drugs require prescriptions. And they do the clinical research, they write the papers and textbooks. They teach the medical students. They provide the continuing medical education. It is important to win the hearts and minds of the physicians.

The medical profession has largely abdicated its responsibility to educate its own, to educate doctors about the use of prescription drugs, and abdicated that responsibility to companies with a clear conflict of interest. In fact the companies know it's marketing not education, if you look at those annual reports, they don't have an educationbudget, it's marketing, that's what it is.

It's self evidently absurd to look to a company for unbiased, impartial information about a product it sells. And we know that in other walks of our life. If we want to know whether to buy a Toyota or Honda, we don't ask the Honda dealer, we know better than that. And yet doctors will pretend that a drug company can provide education about the products it sells.

Also, it's useful in this regard to follow the money. If you want education, if you want to take tennis lessons or French lessons, does the teacher pay you? No. You pay the teacher. But here, the drug companies are paying doctors for this ostensible education that they are providing. And that tells you the real nature of the transaction. They are buying access to the medical profession, and they are buying their hearts and minds.

Now some doctors believe that drug companies don't influence them. They do. There's plenty of research showing that. They influence them not only in terms of clinical practice, but in terms of research and education as well. So this has real consequences.

So how much of an influence does this amount to?

On May 5, 2005, at the USA government hearing, "The Roles of FDA and Pharmaceutical Companies in Ensuring the Safety of Approved Drugs, Like Vioxx," Rep. Henry A. Waxman stated (emphasis mine):

Vioxx was approved in May 1999. Less than a year later, Merck announced that in a major clinical trial, Vioxx was associated with four to five times more heart attacks than naproxen, another anti-inflammatory drug. Over the next year and half, additional concerns were raised by an FDA advisory conmittee and by articles in the New York Times and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Yet sales continued to surge. Vioxx reached $2 billion in sales faster than any drug in Merck's history...

It is critical to understand what went wrong. Why did doctors write so many Vioxx prescriptions even as evidence of harm mounted?

...Merck employed more than 3,000 sales representatives to promote Vioxx to doctors and hospitals. These Merck representatives were extraordinarily well trained. Our Committee has examined more than 20,000 pages of documents. These documents show that Merck trained their sales force to exploit virtually every interaction with physicians.

Merck and the drug industry say that the role of drug representatives is to educate doctors about new products and new medical research. But the documents tell a different story.

The goal was sales, not education. Merck representatives were instructed to use subtle gestures to subconsciously gain the trust of physicians. [Merck sales reps] were permitted to discuss only "approved" journal articles, defined by Merck as articles that "provide solid evidence as to why [doctors] should prescribe Merck products." And health risks were viewed as"obstacles" that the sales force was instructed to surmount.

The evidence is clear, the pharmaceutical companies do not provide education, they provide marketing which is biased and lacking in important substance. Unfortunately many doctors believe the marketing, they don't look deeper, and they propagate the misinformation.

This has left us in a dangerous environment. We often hear the word consensus used, for example, "The scientific consensus is clear, vaccines are the greatest medical achievement in history."

Consensus in an environment where doctors are:

  •  taught propaganda throughout medical school

  • "educated" by pharmaceutical marketing and promotional materials

  •  given biased medical journals and scientific research to evaluate/refute the above

THAT becomes a recipe for disaster.

And yet, here we sit within the disaster.

Thankfully doctors are becoming aware slowly. When they become aware, many of them begin speaking out. Doctors are good people! They swore an oath to serve us. They want to improve the health of their patients, they want to improve the health of humanity. WHEN doctors speak out, that leads us to our next problem.

CONTINUE to the next article: Ch10: Part 6

Article Sources:

  • Vaccines are miracles Here, Here and Here

  • Dr. Paul Offit explaining that many medical schools teach nothing on vaccines Here

  • HHS - well founded concerns about a vaccine's safety cannot be allowed to exist Here

  • Doctors speaking out about how biased and inadequate their vaccine education was in medical school Here and Here

  • Widespread pharmaceutical influence and weak institutional safeguards in Canadian medical schools Here

  • Dr. Marcia Angell lectures - The Truth About the Drug Companies Here

  • Rep. Henry A. Waxman statement at the hearing "The Roles of FDA and Pharmaceutical Companies in Ensuring the Safety of Approved Drugs, Like Vioxx" Here

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