Student Loan and Drug Company Conflicts of Interest

I see parallels between the student loan scandal and standard practice in medical office.

“numerous college aid offices have been caught conspiring with lenders to carve out sweetheart deals that benefit everybody but the students

The shady practices include fees to colleges to put lenders on their “preferred” lists; trips and other perks for financial aid officers; and valuable stock benefits for college aid directors.”

In medicine, physicians and researchers receive fees, trips, consultant contracts, salaries, stock benefits and other gifts from drug companies and other vendors. These gifts seem designed to influence the physician’s choice of treatment or procedure. If you will, the company wants it’s drug on the physician’s “preferred” list.

While it’s not clear how effectively these emollients subvert physician’s decisions, the companies continue to spend billions of dollars on this type marketing.   There is, as in the student loan scandal, the damning appearance of a conflict of interest .

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