Doctors’ reported loss of autonomy in the current policy climate and the subsequent deprofessionalisation of medicine can be attributed to many factors. The pharmaceutical industry accounts for a large proportion of healthcare costs, with the professional relationship between the industry and medical profession raising ethical concerns. Developing potentially life-saving products and potentiating scientific advances are some of the many good attributes of the pharmaceutical industry. However, the dependence of medical care on the production of pharmaceutics is undeniable. It could be argued that the pharmaceutical industry takes advantage of this relationship, fuelled by financial motive. Conversely, there could be a complex interplay of factors driving a power imbalance in the pharma/clinical relationship. By reviewing literature in the field, this viewpoint article explores these multifaceted factors.