Partnerships between doctors and drug companies are frequently dismissed as a profit-driven arrangement, but "[w]e should strive to cultivate, not demonize, these sorts of interactions," writes Dr. David A. Shaywitz. Drug companies work on life-changing and life-saving treatments, and to do so, they need access to the expertise of the best researchers as well as practicing clinicians, who understand the needs of patients, Shaywitz says. "[W]e're taught to distrust the physicians and university researchers who consult the most with industry, yet it's often these experts who are the smartest scientists or the most experienced clinicians -- that's why companies seek them out," he says.

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