MEZIS achieves Break-through with first International “No-Free-Lunch”-Meeting
„Luther“ places demands at centers of the health care lobby
Representatives of „No-Free-Lunch“-groups from 15 nations and all continents accepted the invitation of their German partner initiative “MEZIS – Mein Essen zahl’ ich selbst” (translation: I pay for my food myself). Together, they worked on conflicts of interest in health care and their implications between the 15th and 17th of September 2017 in the “House of Democracy and Human Rights” in Berlin.
Read more in our Press Release
And here you find all pictures of the conference.
Who we are
We are MEZIS (“Mein Essen zahl ich selbst”—I pay for my own lunch in German), an initiative founded in 2007 of incorruptible (German speaking) doctors. Our aim is to counteract the “hug strategy” of the pharmaceutical industry:
- MEZIS fights the ubiquitous influence and unwarranted power of the pharmaceutical industry in healthcare.
- MEZIS raises awareness among fellow doctors and medical students that accepting pens, food, trial sponsorship, travel expenses and remuneration for post marketing surveillance studies (PMSS) makes one’s prescribing habits vulnerable to influence.
- MEZIS demands a clear prohibition of influencing and corruption in the regulations of medical professionals.
- MEZIS promotes producer-independent information and Continuing Medical Education programmes (CMEs) as well as medical software that is free from advertising.
- MEZIS is part of the world wide “No free lunch”-network.
How do we work in practice?
If doctors lack one thing, it’s time. Thus MEZIS works in a decentralized manner and communicates via e-mail, a mailing list and through the website www.mezis.de. Our public relations work highlights the subject in the media. Our regional groups form networks of local colleagues.
As doctors, we carry great responsibility for our patients! Accurate and objective information without the bias of commercial interests is a necessary prerequisite, especially for prescribing drugs. However:
- According to estimates 15,000 pharmaceutical representatives visit 20 million practices and hospitals in Germany every year, advertise their products, bring their gifts and remunerate doctors for post marketing surveillance studies (PMSS). They treat doctors to lunch or dinner and pay participation and travel fees for Continuing Medical Education programmes (CMEs).
The result: Advertising for drugs that are usually more expensive without proving any therapeutic progress replaces objective information. Money, gifts and food influence physicians‘prescribing behaviour.- The pharmaceutical industry sponsors most CME programmes and can therefore ensure that the “right” topics are covered. Medical speakers are often receiving inappropriate remuneration and even their slides are often provided by sponsors.
- Data from trials by pharmaceutical companies often doesn’t get published or gets published incompletely. Planning and analysis are often rigged to provide a favourable outcome. This data then influences guidelines and publications in medical journals, especially those that are financed through advertising revenues.
- Pharmaceutical companies hire their own authors, who furnish important medical informational homepages with announcements that are biased and guided by their own interests.
- Diagnostic criteria of disease are broadened (disease mongering) to manufacture more conditions that can be medically treated. The dangers of diseases are exaggerated (fear mongering). Patient self-help organizations are sponsored and provided with inadequate information. This increases the pressure on prescribing doctors.
The consequences: spending on drugs increases especially through expensive pseudo-innovations that have no proven additive therapeutic value and potentially have unknown risks. The trust in the doctor-patient-relationships is questioned.
Does this resonate with you?
Then become part of MEZIS! MEZIS is open to all German speaking doctors and dentists (80 € / year). All other can be passive members (40 € / year). Please contact info [at] mezis.de.
Or through the medical managing director:
Dr. Christiane Fischer, MD,MPH, PhD
fischer [at] mezis.de
Global ‘No Free Lunch’ Conference | 2017 Berlin
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