, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 4-10

Why I No Longer Consult for Drug Companies

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Consulting for any organization is a complex undertaking. It requires specific relationships among individuals that exist within a general organizational culture that itself may promote or discourage such relationships. Fundamentally speaking, a consultation occurs when an expert, usually from outside an organization, is brought in to provide expertise to the insiders or to help solve a problem(s) posed by the organization. Quite often, the relationship is time- or funding-limited and subject to confidentiality agreements (especially in the case of businesses). Physician–scientists who consult for the pharmaceutical industry seem both appropriate and even essential for the transfer of technology, and yet they are also problematic characters in the consulting game because scientists create potential intellectual property and because doctors write prescriptions. As I explain below, I have stopped consulting for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for many reasons, including the