When commercial interests (pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers) mix-and-mingle with healthcare providers (HCPs), it changes the clinical behaviors of the HCP. This presents a fundamental conflict of interest for the HCP. Their clinical judgment and recommendations favor the commercial entity that has provided free meals and trips, or “freebies” like mugs and lanyards and pens, or educational subsidies, or lucrative honoraria to speak to other HCPs. And the HCPs are often not even aware of how their behaviors have been influenced. This grooming of “thought leaders” is increasingly apparent in the field of clinical lactation care and advocacy, creating legal and ethical tensions with professional practice-guiding documents that caution against such unethical relationships.
This session will define personal and professional conflicts-of-interests (COIs), identify elements in practice-guiding documents for Lactation Helpers that warn against COIs, and provide examples demonstrating how for-profit entities have mastered marketing persuasion techniques to groom “thought leaders” (revered experts) to serve as unwitting shills for their commercial logos, brands, and products.
At the conclusion of this E-CERPs-eligible session, the learner will be able to:
(1) Define the differences between a personal and a professional conflict of interest;
(2) Identify elements in ethics and practice-guiding documents, for healthcare providers, that prohibit relationships with commercial interests that create a professional conflict-of-interest
(3) Describe how to change at least three clinical practices to reduce even the appearance of a professional conflict-of-interest