Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Police and Taser International

The various doctors' associations across Canada have announced new rules concerning drug companies' sponsorship of medical events. Wining and dining of doctors is of course a marketing tool for the sponsors. The fear is the influence this sponsorship may have on doctors' decisions as to which drugs they prescribe to their patients.

A spokesperson for one of the organizations said that the new rules will unite the professional bodies on how to manage their relationships with the drug companies. Some U.S. organizations have issued outright bans on  industry involvement with medical education out of concern it is biasing the doctors and leading to poorer prescribing.

What about other professional organizations? The Canadian Association  of Police Chiefs (CAPC), for example?  At a recent annual meeting, the CAPC accepted $100,000 as conference sponsor from Taser International Inc. The police also accepted stock options from Taser.

Medical professionals are concerned about industry influence on their decisions.  The public is left to wonder how great an influence Taser marketing tools exert on the purchase and use of its equipment by our police forces. May we expect similar rules from CAPC  in the near future?

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