Al Gore on Conflict of Interest – Pacific Research Institute

Al Gore on Conflict of Interest

The Institute of Medicine released a report excoriating drug and medical-device makers for sponsoring medical education and the like. Specialist medical societies immediately collaborated on a joint press release, where they basically prostrated themselves in apology for accepting funding from these industries. They would much prefer to be dependent on government, according to their statement.

It’s not news: Many states have also introduced legislation to control industry’s “influence” on medical practice, as written about here.

If and when they decide to stop grovelling before the agents of the state, the medical societies could learn from Al Gore, who enthusiastically defends his commercial interest in “green” technologies for which he lobbies the government for subsidies. This video shows an exchange between the former Vice-President and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) at a Congressional hearing on April 24.

Mrs. Blackburn tries to nail Mr. Gore for being a partner in Kleiner Perkins, a venture-capital firm hoping to benefit from government hand-outs for “green” technology. Mr. Gore just laughs it off:

“If you believe that the reason that I have been working on this issue for over thirty years is because of greed, you don’t know me.” He continues: “I’ve been willing to put my money where my mouth is. Do you think there’s something wrong with being active in business in this country?….. I’m proud of it.”

Any doctor or scientist should respond similarly when agents of the state accuse her of “conflict of interest” for accepting funding from the pharmaceutical or medical-device industries.

(By the way, I note that the IOM does not burden itself with the same regulations it urges the government to impose on others. It notes that its report was funded by six sponsors. But it doesn’t disclose how much money each sponsor paid, or how much it paid the individuals who wrote the report. Also, the first listed sponsor was the National Institutes of Health, a government agency. So, the IOM accepts government funding and issues a report demanding more government power. By the IOM’s own standards, I’d call that a conflict of interest.)

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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