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Physicians Endorsing Supplements.

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by SomeDoc, May 30, 2008.

  1. SomeDoc

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    Anyone see the infomercial for "Supple"? "It's a delicious drink that can solve all your joint problems" and "It's guaranteed to work for you," :scared: Surprisingly, the product is endorsed by a Yale-trained nephrologist. When the product's creator makes claims regarding his product (surprisingly he looks Kevin Trudeau), you can see the physician endorser doesn't buy into his claims, but goes along with it. With hydroxycut; one of the endorsers is a board certified anesthesiologist. I seriously wonder, how much bank are these people making by trading in their credibility and credentials in order to endorse these products.
     
    #1 SomeDoc, May 30, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
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  3. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats
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    I am tempted to throw heavy objects at my television every time that godd*#n Lipozene commercial comes on.

    My favorites though are the MD endorsements from residents. It's like man... are you willing to make a mockery of your career before it even begins?
     
  4. SomeDoc

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    I hear you. Sad thing is they probably end up paying off their student loans in about a week... :eek:
     
  5. SugPlum

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    The endorsements of supplements sound like something some dermatologists have been doing for a while, putting their names on beauty products. Many dermatologists sell nonprescription beauty products in their offices. I don't feel comfortable with that because I feel that the physicians could be biased in their recommendations.
     
  6. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats
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    Unfortunately it only contributes to patient skepticism of physician prescriptions. Sadly, a large amount of patients I have talked to think most doctors get cuts for prescribing drugs and push unnecessary drugs for profit. Hooray patient adherence!
     
  7. SugPlum

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    My father thinks that way when his doctor prescribes a brand name drug even one without a similar generic.
     
  8. virilep

    virilep What can Brown do for u?
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    Point of clarification. I looked this up a long time ago before they got rid of it on the commercials. The Doctor from the hydroxycut commercial is a DO from Touro University. Now they don't give that information on the commercial. I dunno why. Just wanted to make that distinction.
     
  9. douflag

    douflag New Member
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    I thought the hydroxycut doc was from Midwestern University in Illinois.
     
  10. SomeDoc

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    This is true. He's just starting his career. But then again, who knows- no one will probably care 10 years down the line unless he plans on going into academia, which I doubt, and he'll have his loans well paid off by then unlike us suckers.

    http://www.hydroxycut.com/doctor_profiles/index.shtml
     
  11. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
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    I like to make fun of these guys, especially the clown that does the Hydroxycut commericials. But truthfully, I would endorse a company making sheep-skin condom as a contraceptive if they paid me enough.
     
  12. Green Chimneys

    Green Chimneys Meatwad's Worst Nightmare
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    Come on. None of you are going to medical school to get the street cred to endorse a simple pill that makes "that certain part of the male anatomy" up to 50% larger? Nobody?
     
  13. virilep

    virilep What can Brown do for u?
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    oops. I knew it was a DO school. my bad!
     
  14. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers
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    The best part about this guy is that he's a radiology resident. You'll "incorporate this product" into your practice my ass!
     
  15. Maz51

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    Bump.
    I saw an infomercial for this tonight on CBS around 1am and I figured I would do a forum search. If anyone needs a study break and a good laugh, watch this crazy infomercial! At the center of the advertisement is an MD questioning the CEO of supple(who has no scientific training) about a supplement he has developed after 20 years of joint pain.
    excerpt:
    MD: Now how is supple different?
    CEO: supple actually stops, it stops, the vicious cycle of cartilage break down and degeneration, Supple actually rebuilds your joints it stops swelling and inflammation it actually helps you to heal, it protects your joints like a gladiator protecting your joints!
    MD: Ok so it starts rebuilding that joint space and therefore takes care of the pain associated with it.

    later on:

    CEO: Medical doctors all over the world are prescribing supple, for professional athletes, presidents of countries and professional athletes.

    MD: so it is the standard of care

    CEO: absolutely!

    My question is, are there any laws prohibiting doctors from promoting and selling drugs that do not have FDA approval or even sound studies behind them.(I am not aware of any as an M II) and do professional organization regulate these physicians at all?
     
  16. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Angy Old Man
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    Umm, my skepticism for Supple notwithstanding, why do you believe the answer is more laws. Why should a physician be banned from endorsing a product, whether or not they believe in it? Paid or not?
     
  17. Mr hawkings

    Mr hawkings Senior Member
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    I'm not for banning anything but i do believe it should be part of a code of ethics. There are a lot of things physicians do not do that are not against the law to do. They dont do them because these things may go against the code of ethics of the profession.
     
  18. ThinkTooMuch

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    With the extremely high cost of education, I can't really blame physicians for looking at other means to make money. If I can do something similar and have zero debt after residency, why not?
     
  19. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member
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    I thought you had to be a D.O. before you could endorse supplements--yes/no? :laugh:
     
  20. cpants

    cpants Member
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    Yup. This is one of the arguments the vaccine nuts use. They claim doctors push dangerous vaccines to make money.

    Why not? Because it is irresponsible to use your degree to legitimize unproven and possibly dangerous supplements.
     
  21. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Angy Old Man
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    So are we only allowed to endorse products that the good and benevolent folks at the FDA deem that we can? Or should we not even do that?

    I agree its more than a little unethical to use the letters after your name to lend legitimacy to a dubious product, especially when the relationship is built on money.

    But who's to say that the only products that do have benefit are endorsed by the EPA? Take n-3 FAs for instance (yes I love them. leave me alone). Reduce triglycerides (one formulation even has FDA approval for that), can be used as NSAID-sparing anti-inflammatories (American College of Rheumatology agrees with that), reduce heart attack risk, promising for a variety of neurologic and psychiatric conditions.

    What if I have an opinion on which brand is better than the other? Should I withhold my opinion? Or should I just not get paid for it? Of the readily available products, I like GNC's stuff as a good baalnce between dosage, price, and quality. Should I not offer the suggestion because of the MD after my name? (in a couple of weeks). Or is it ok if I just don't get paid.

    Personally I'd be a bit more indignant about the tens of thousands in honoraria that the guys who write the BP, diabetes, and cholesterol guidelines all get. Or the fact that many of the large-scale clinical trials of medications are run by de facto part-time employees of the drug companies involved.
     
  22. Mr hawkings

    Mr hawkings Senior Member
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    I think what i'm trying to say is that you advocating one medication over another because you know it is better for your patients is one thing but getting paid to pimp it on TV is another.

    Besides, i did say i dont think there should be any sort of ban or a law against it.

    Like i said, there are lots of things you as a physician will not paritcipate in even though they are perfectly legal just because our profession sees it as ethically questionable. No one would prosecute you, but you just wouldnt do it.
    I'm saying that maybe getting paid to pimp a supplement or drug should be one these things that a physician just feels funny doing.
    I'm not even just focusing on the non-FDA stuff.

    I do understand your point and Maybe i'm being too idealistic.
     
  23. ThinkTooMuch

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    Because every single FDA approved drug has been 100% safe? Is that right? I know I will not be one of those physicians who blindly accepts FDA approvals or shuns supplements. And everything you put into your system can be "possibly dangerous." Not really a convincing argument you have there.
     
  24. cpants

    cpants Member
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    When did I claim that everything the FDA approves is 100% safe or that any evidence should be blindly accepted? FDA approval means that the drugs have been shown in scientific studies to be reasonably safe in light of the benefits the drug provides (which also must be proven). Acceptable recommendations and also FDA approvals change all the time as new data emerge. What I said was that it is unethical to put your degree behind something which you don't know to be safe or effective just to make money, which is what you proposed in your previous post.
     
  25. ThinkTooMuch

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    So in your mind only the FDA is in a position to make determinations about safety and efficacy?
     
  26. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    First, nothing is ever 100% safe, and cpants knows that so get off his back.

    And he is right. It is unethical and unprofessional (we are still a profession, right?) to do what that hydroxy-clown did. Even for the money? Especially for the money.

    But really, the FDA sucks and fails miserably even according to their own they are grossly underfunded and likewise in bed with the companies that make these capsules of useless and harmful s***. The blame rests solely on our shoulders for not doing more at educating patients and demanding stricter enforcement over our profession.

    Read Howard Brody's book Hooked.
     
  27. cpants

    cpants Member
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    I never even brought up the FDA. There are plenty of sources of information out there, and I don't have a problem with physicians evaluating evidence and determining if a supplement is right for their patients. Your idea had nothing to do with determining safety or efficacy. You wanted to endorse based on getting paid. This is irresponsible. As doctors our patients and the public at large expect us to provide them with correct health information in good faith. The size of the check is probably inversely proportional to how good the safety and efficacy evidence is for a supplement.
     
  28. Mr hawkings

    Mr hawkings Senior Member
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    :thumbup:
     
  29. Mr hawkings

    Mr hawkings Senior Member
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    You're kidding. Right?
     
  30. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology
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    It's all about the BENJAMINS! $$$$$$$$$$
     
  31. ThinkTooMuch

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    my idea? This is what I said:

    With the extremely high cost of education, I can't really blame physicians for looking at other means to make money. If I can do something similar and have zero debt after residency, why not?

    I made no comment about S & E or the conditions of endorsing.:rolleyes: You brought it up, so then I did too.:rolleyes:

    what makes you think every physician endorsed supplement would be as silly as the the examples in this thread? What makes you think every physician would endorse without conditions? What makes you think every physician would endorse something without believing and/or being able to determine safety and efficacy? These are things you are implying..

    There is nothing irresponsible or unethical with getting paid for endorsing something you as a physician, believe to be safe and effective. If you still find fault with this then there really isn't much more to discuss.

    Am I being clear enough for you now?
     
  32. Mr hawkings

    Mr hawkings Senior Member
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    It just makes the profession look bad. The patients already think the physicians are in the pockets of the drug companies (which also produce a lot of the non-FDA supplements) and are part of some "medical industrial complex".

    By the way, whats with the tone? Relax We are all friends here :)
     
  33. TexasTriathlete

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    When I'm a DO, I hope someone offers me a **** ton of money to endorse their penis enlarger or fat burner. It doesn't even have to be a **** ton if I'm a resident.
     
  34. cpants

    cpants Member
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    I agree with you, but if you are getting fistfuls of money to endorse it--the kind of money that would make an impact on your student loans--it will pretty much by definition have little to no evidence of safety and efficacy. How can I say that? Because if something is legitimately safe and effective for a condition, they don't have to pay residents 50k to talk about it on an infomercial. Instead, they publish in the NE Journal and Dr. Oz talks about it for free on Oprah. Doctors across the country adopt it into their practices.
     
  35. DrJosephKim

    DrJosephKim Advisor
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    You mean you haven't tried it yet? As physicians, we always need to evaluate the evidence. If the evidence is lacking, then we should be clear about that. Consumers can fall for anything, so it's important to educate them properly.
     
  36. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    It's worse than that. It is just plain wrong. It may be ubiquitous, but that doesn't make it right.

    Really hoping that's a joke.

    Seriously, these advertisements are detrimental to practice both for patients and physicians. Really, DTC should be illegal (unless it is STRICTLY educational ie. no drug names).
     
  37. Stixman28

    Stixman28 Medical Scientician
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  38. Mr hawkings

    Mr hawkings Senior Member
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  39. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I have worked with folks who do lots of national commercials and I hate to break it to you but one endorsement is usually only going to make a small dent in the typical student loan. You'd be surprised how little these folks are selling their integrity for. Probably pays a few months rent and bills for sure but it isn't generally an amount that's going to make a dent in a six digit student loan debt. Still, if a company offers the typical resident a chance to up his residency salary by 30%, he's going to find takers. Which is exactly what these companies do.
     
  40. 87138

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    Direct-to-consumer advertising for LEGITIMATE drugs is bad enough.

    But this kind of snake oil hocking really is out of hand.

    And by endorsing crap publicly, you raise the number of idiots who will come to see you/your colleagues begging for Bottle O'Crap because the fancy doctor guy on TV said that's what you need for your vague symptoms of fatigue/depression/arthraligais/other **** everyone has to a varying extent.
     
  41. rmcusc

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    Anyone want to sponsor a good anal bleach?
     

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