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Student Ethicists
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has launched a campaign to educate "students, physicians and the public about the professional, ethical and practical consequences of the current medicine-industry relationship..." The Pharm Free campaign states that there "should be no role for the biased information distributed by drug reps at centers where medical knowledge is both created and disseminated."

AMSA states that "we have both the ability and the responsibility to take action and to ensure medicine is practiced with the highest scientific and ethical standards." That is true. Unfortunately, AMSA does not practice what they preach.

While AMSA opposes dissemination of biased information by those they disagree with, they do not apply similar standards to themselves. Instead, the association demonstrates its own profound biases. For example, AMSA states that "Market forces threaten the lives of millions of denying them the right to access essential medicines." AMSA’s statement is not only unsupported, it ignores the irony that without those market forces, many of the "essential medicines" they "demand access to" would not exist.

AMSA’s Pharm Free campaign confuses political advocacy with ethics. Adherence to preconceived agendas and preventing other views from being heard may be fine for politicians and ideologists, but is not healthy for physicians or their patients. Medical students, and patients, should learn how listen to and critically evaluate all information before reaching conclusions.

See AMSA FOCUS on Pharm website

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