A Question of Integrity…

Imagine this…

Scanning the newspaper one day you learn that your local doctor, who you’ve taken your family to for years, might be getting ‘subsidies’ from the drug companies whose medicines she recommends to her patients.

Being inquisitive on your next visit, you ask does that apply to her practice.

She explains it’s common practice and that these ‘subsidies’ are not in the form of money, but savings in terms of better buying power on her surgery’s running expenses which in turn helps keep her fees affordable for growing families.

She states that she and her fellow partners would never think of recommending anything that wasn’t the most appropriate for her patients. She also states she has never had any cause to doubt their drugs and has been recommending them for years.  

You have no idea how large these subsidies are.

You totally trust your doctor’s advice and never have had reason to doubt her judgement or care.

Does the fact that her practice is getting subsidies from a drug company change anything in your mind?

Would it be OK if you found about about the subsidies directly from her rather than via the media? (Maybe they did in one of those newsletters at her surgery which you never read?)

Aren’t they profitable enough without having subsidies – would you prefer to pay higher fees knowing that there are no subsidies?

Would it be different if you knew how much the subsidies were? That is, would it be different if you knew it was just a couple of hundred dollars, a couple of thousand dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Whilst this might not affect your relationship with your doctor, could it raise an issue and compromise some other doctors?

Is this just a storm in a teacup?

You don’t care as long as she believes in the quality of the service provides. You know she would never have anything to do with conflicts.

How does this relate to financial services?


Particularly when ‘sign-on’ bonuses are getting paid for advisers firms shifting dealer groups.

Particularly when dealer fees reduce as preferred platform usage increases.

What do you reckon?


About Jim Stackpool

For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.

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