It should be obvious that patients need unbiased advice when it comes to making decisions that can impact their health.

With that in mind, it stands to reason that physicians and scientists with financial ties to the drug industry should not be permitted to participate in broad policy and public health recommendations. But this is exactly what happens, and it happens more or less routinely.

In fact, conflict of interest is rampant in the field of medicine, even when it comes to recommendations from supposedly independent authorities like the federal government, which makes it very difficult to trust conventional health advice.

This issue was recently highlighted in a study published in the Milbank Quarterly,1 a multidisciplinary journal of population health and health policy.

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