You know how the tv series “Law and Order” often uses “Ripped from the Headlines” to describe an upcoming episode that addresses issues from a real life case?  Well this is a reverse case.  On the tv Series “Boston Legal” not long ago, the character Alan Shore (played by James Spader) raised a point in one of his infamous closing speeches about how more and more of academia is connected with stronger and stronger ties to powerful corporate entities.

In the situation from that episode, Alan was talking about oil companies financing research at universities and the likelihood that this would have an influence on the results… causing research results to be skewed in a manner that benefited the oil companies where the truth would either not benefit them or even harm their causes (and cost them money).

Well it seems now that there’s been some real life recognition of this kind of trend.  The results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that there is definitely a significant level of corporate influence.

Quoting from a relevant story I saw on the CBS News website:

Drug companies and makers of medical devices often use these connections to influence doctors to use products that aren’t necessarily in the patient’s best interest, said Eric Campbell, the study’s lead author. He is a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Technorati Tags: corporate+influence, academia, universities, research, drug+companies, medical+equipment, doctors+influenced, boston+legal, james+spader, alan+shore

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