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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Big Pharma takes over medical education

The pharmaceutical "Industry funds 60%-80% of all CME (Continuing Medical Education) activities."
 
That's from Amy Brodkey, MD, an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the relationship between physicians, industry representatives, and conflict of interest. She is also on the board of No Free Lunch, a nonprofit organization encouraging greater distance between physicians and industry. This is from an interview she gave on Medscape with Pippa Wysong http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/713480?src=mp&spon=17&uac=80589DJ
 
Hardly a shock are these statements:
 
"Several studies show that sponsored CME activities are often biased when compared with nonsponsored CME. Industry's take-over of medical education has affected what medicine is, what our interests are, and what defines the profession."
 
"...physicians who interact more with pharmaceutical representatives prescribe more expensively, sometimes inappropriately, and sometimes more dangerously than physicians with fewer interactions. They're influenced to think that new drugs are better even though an older drug might be more appropriate."