Medicine and industry are bound together by mutual needs. The development and utilization of new drugs and medical devices requires both the scientific and clinical expertise of physicians, and the resources and entrepreneurial ethos of business. The medicine-industry partnership has contributed to dramatic improvements in medical care. The increasing influence of the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industry in medicine has, however, raised concerns about costs and regulation, as well as about medicine's traditional independence and objectivity. Some critics feel that the fundamental obligation of business to provide profit for shareholders conflicts with physicians' traditional role as disinterested advocates of patients' interests. Nonetheless, with about 15% of the U.S. economy now devoted to health care, an ongoing and ro-bust relation between business and medicine seems inevitable. A mutually productive relationship between medicine and industry is essential for continued innovation and improvement in health care. Continuous and open dialogue, such as that in the following articles, is necessary to resolve conflicts and achieve this goal.


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