Public Release: 

PharmedOut asks 'who's managing medical knowledge?'

2nd annual conference explores the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on clinicians, medical education, research and marketing

Georgetown University Medical Center

Washington, DC--PharmedOut announces its 2nd annual conference "Pharma Knows Best?" to explore various ways the pharmaceutical and device industry influences medical practices. The conference on Thursday, June 16th and Friday, June 17th at Georgetown University is sponsored by PharmedOut, a volunteer organization that promotes evidence-based prescribing, and educates health care professionals about pharmaceutical marketing practices.

"What health care professionals believe about the benefits and harms of drugs determines what they prescribe" explains Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., director of PharmedOut and associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. "Accurate information about drugs can't be extracted from biased sources. This conference is designed to take a critical look at sophisticated ways that pharmaceutical companies exert their influence on scientific information used by prescribers."

Topics to be covered at the conference include use of disease awareness websites and social media; pharmaceutical benefits managers; targeting physicians through medical science liaisons; the role of the FDA in direct-to-consumer marketing of pharmaceuticals; an analysis of data following Massachusetts passage of the nation's first law banning gifts to doctors from pharmaceutical and medical-device companies; ghostwriting and medical journals; and academic-industry-relationships.

In addition to Fugh-Berman, speakers include Marcia Angell, M.D., senior lecturer in global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School; Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota Medical School and author of Better Than Well; Edmund Pellegrino, M.D., John Carroll Professor Emeritus of Medicine in the Center for Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center; Donald Light, Ph.D., M.S., professor in health systeM.S. and Policy at University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey; Amy Toscano, PharM.D., CPA, regulatory review officer in the Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Nicolas Rasmussen, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the School of History and Philosophy, at the University of New South Wales; and Virginia Barbour, M.D., chief editor of PLosMedicine.

The conference will be held in Lohrfink Auditorium at Georgetown University. To register or for more information, visit pharmedout.org/2011Conference.htm.

Members of the media wishing to attend should contact Karen Mallet at km463@georgetown.edu. Limited press seating is available.

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About PharmedOut

PharmedOut is a public education and research project involving volunteer physicians, nurses, scientists, industry insiders and students based at Georgetown University Medical Center. PharmedOut educates health care professionals about pharmaceutical marketing practices, encourages the use of unbiased information about medications, and supports evidence-based prescribing. PharmedOut is funded by individual donations. For more information, visit the website at pharmedout.org.

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 MedStar Health). GUMC's mission is carried out with a strong eM.P.H.asis 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 & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical Translation and Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. In fiscal year 2009-2010, GUMC accounted for nearly 80 percent of Georgetown University's extramural research funding.

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