Public Release: 

PharmedOut asks 'should industry fund continuing medical education?'

Conference explores perils of CME funding by industry and examines successful programs without such funding

Georgetown University Medical Center

Washington, DC--PharmedOut, an initiative aimed at increasing physician access to unbiased information about drugs, will host a conference to explore the issues of pharmaceutical industry funding on continuing medical education. The conference, "Prescription for Conflict: Should Industry Fund Continuing Medical Education?" will be held June 25, 2010 at Georgetown University. PharmedOut is an independent project at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). The conference is a collaborative effort with the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University and the Georgetown University Law Center.

"Our goal is to explore the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on continuing medical education," says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, the lead researcher of PharmedOut. "This is an important issue because what doctors learn about drugs affects patient care as well as prescription costs." Fugh-Berman is an associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and the Department of Family Medicine at GUMC.

During the conference, Fugh-Berman will discuss novel research that uncovers marketing messages hidden in medical journal manuscripts and CME modules. Attendees will also hear from Josh Sharfstein, MD, principal deputy commissioner of the FDA; Paul Thacker, an investigator for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa); Edmund Pellegrino, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics at GUMC; Carl Elliott, MD, PhD, a philosopher at the University of Minnesota and author of Better Than Well; industry representatives; and former industry insiders including "whistleblower" Glenn DeMott, a former pharmaceutical sales representative.

Conference topics include: professionalism, what's known about industry influence on continuing education of prescribers?; bioethicists and pharma; the pros and cons of industry-funded education; and models for sustainable industry-free CME.

The conference will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Intercultural Center Auditorium at Georgetown. General registration will be $495, with discounts for community physicians, nurses, physician assistants and students. To register for the conference, or for more information, visit


About PharmedOut

PharmedOut is an independent project run by physicians to disseminate information about how pharmaceutical companies influence physician prescribing, and to increase access to unbiased information about drugs. The web site provides news, resources, original videos and links to CME courses that are not funded by pharmaceutical companies.

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university's sponsored research funding.

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