Posted by Alan on October 14, 2002, at 20:20:35
In reply to Re: sources of information, posted by Dr. Bob on October 14, 2002, at 17:10:18
> > > Only "credible sources of information" should be allowed to post? Only doctors without conflicts of interest?
> > Yes the conflicts that I speak of negates credibility by a good margin.
> Well, this would be a completely different site if only doctors were allowed to post...
Oh, you misunderstood me...or the other way around.
I did not mean that only doctors should be posting, but that when they do, such as your previous "guest" doctors, that they have full disclosure of their affiliations with commercial interests or with any commercial product.
> > > Alternative points of view could themselves be thought of as a form of protection
> > Relying on alternative points of view to "police" those commercial interests for the benefit of those that are vulnerable (most who visit the board I suspect are), are, by their very nature less credible in the unsuspecting eyes of the vulnerable - at least moreso than the naturally hope-giving business-speak of salesman.
> Maybe we should just agree to disagree on this. I think the people here, especially with input (including alternative posts of view) from others, can make up their own minds.
I can agree with you that many can make up their own minds - but under the influence of whom seems to me to be the question that is still relevant.
There are no rescources to contradict a pharmrep when they hold all of the cards and ask for scientific evidence to disprove them when they are contradicted. They are in positions of authority and the members of this bboard are by and large not able to contradict their claims on equivalent terms (for instance does any one of us have access to the tests Forest lab did including the ones they discarded in order to change the test parameters to be able to cherry-pick their results submitted to the FDA?). This seems to me to be a relatively important question in light of present FDA proceedures.
Most of us here are not doctors after all. This is the type of unlevel playing field I'm talking about when the two are mixing.It blurs a healthy line of distinction between commercialism and medicine, many times without the average joe's awareness of this problem even existing.
> > For one example, why not clearly identify a separate board for pharmecutical companies or anxiety/depression gurus to hawk their wares with questions from the crowd - rather than have them be offered up in a forum asking for personal support about med experiences as anything other than what they are, salesmen?
> That's an interesting idea, but how would I know who belonged where? Pharmrep hasn't pretended to be anything other than a salesman, but others might...
Firstly, anyone that claims to be a doc or in similar position of authority that dispenses medical advice (which is what pharmrep is actually doing) - that deliberately comes here putting themselves in a position of authority should have their credentials verified in some way shouldn't they?
There aren't that many posting that are MHP's so why not for our own protection asking privately by screening for pertinent information (liscence no. for verification comes to mind) as a means of being fully informed? This way we could rely on them as at least sources of some sort of authority and be able to identify fradulent ones. Everyone would benefit from advice sources being identified.
Secondly perhaps start a board called something like "Professional Psycho-babble corner" or something of the sort where these verified MHP's that have received verification could take place before MHP's are allowed to speak from a position of authority.
It's the mixing of authority with inquisitive but vulnerable consumers that bother me on the main babble board. Having two seperate boards would at least identify things for what they really are rather than pretending what they aren't.
In light of the concerns expressed by myself and several others about keeping a healthy differentiation between the commercial and medical interests, how do these suggestions sound?