Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
CAMARGO JR., Kenneth Rochel de. Public health and the knowledge industry. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.6, pp. 1078-1283. Epub Dec 18, 2009. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102009005000076.
Knowledge plays an important role in health care. The production and diffusion of health-related knowledge are increasingly under the control of private commercial interests, which are characterized by conflicts of interests that result in abuses of power. Considerable research has been done on the medical-industrial complex and its role in the production of power imbalances and the consequent abuses, but little attention has been dedicated to the role played by the publishing industry, which can be subject to the same problems. The widely diffused idea that "frequent and major changes" occur in medicine, albeit unsupported by clearcut evidence, is an effective marketing tool for both the pharmaceutical and publishing industries, who feed and thrive on physicians' insecurities. The production and distribution of knowledge should be addressed as a strategic component of public health.
Keywords : Knowledge; Scientific and Technical Publications; Publication Bias; Scientific Communication and Diffusion; Scientific Misconduct; Health Care Sector.