First, while accepting drug industry money might seem shameful to outsiders, within the world of academic medicine it is often just the opposite. Paid consulting for the drug industry is a mark of status. "You're thinking, you're in with the big guys now," one physician told me for my book, "White Coat, Black Hat." "You're in with the senior figures in the field."
Money is not the only incentive here. The drug industry can transform doctors into academic stars. Drug companies may offer physicians authorship on journal articles, make them investigators on clinical trials, promote them in the media and fly them around the country to give lectures and conference presentations.
"At meetings they get big fancy badges, like generals with their medals," a medical writer told me. Asking these doctors to disclose their corporate perks and payments is like asking a decorated officer to display his honors and awards.
money, status, and ego. A dangerous mix.