The Australian Medical Association says it wants a ban on the marketing of medical research to the general public, after reports of marketing to a select group of medical professionals.
The AMA says it is concerned that the marketing to some medical professionals, including those who work in clinical research, may not be fully ethical and the information may not accurately reflect the health of the research subjects.
“There is a risk of misrepresentation of the health risks of research,” AMA president Ian Watson said in a statement.
We are concerned that medical research subjects are not fully informed of the safety and efficacy of their work and we also need to protect the rights of researchers and patients to receive accurate and unbiased information about the research, the AMA said.
Some scientists, including a University of Queensland researcher, were found to have misleading marketing material in their clinical trials, which may have resulted in false positive results.
According to the AMA, research is still a critical and expensive part of the Australian health system and the research community needs to be given the tools to protect their reputation.
AMA spokesperson Sarah Young said she hoped the AMA’s policy would have the desired effect on medical research.
“Research should be conducted according to best scientific practice and not to the public benefit,” she said.
“In addition to the need to safeguard the health and safety of patients, the promotion of research to health professionals may result in misleading or deceptive representations to the Australian public.”