Public Release: 

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Jan. 27, 2015

American College of Physicians

1. American College of Physicians kicks off year-long centennial celebration

New commentary discusses the challenges and opportunities ahead for internal medicine

This year, the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States, celebrates a century of internal medicine leadership, innovation, and excellence in medical knowledge and information. Annals of Internal Medicine will recognize ACP's 100th anniversary with special content throughout 2015. Each issue will include a historical article that corresponds to a current topic published in the journal. In addition, several History of Medicine articles will be published and each cover will feature a photograph of an internal medicine physician.

In this issue, Steven E. Weinberger, MD, FACP, CEO and Executive Vice President of ACP, reflects on the current challenges and opportunities that face internal medicine specialists and subspecialists, their patients, and American society as ACP enters its second century. Dr. Weinberger identifies what he considers to be the three leading issues for internal medicine and ACP: 1) defining the role of internal medicine within the health care system; 2) addressing the challenges of professional satisfaction; and 3) meeting the responsibility of controlling health care costs (see: ACP's High Value Care Initiative).

Note: The URL for Dr. Weinberger's commentary will be live when the embargo lifts (http://www.annals.org/article.aspx?doi=10.7326/M14-2905). For a PDF or an interview, please contact Angela Collom.


2. The challenges of sharing of clinical trial data

Transparency and sharing of information from clinical trials has been gathering support from industry, the government, researchers, and medical journals. As support has grown, the challenges associated with how and when data should be shared have become more apparent. As such, the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) committee on Strategies for Responsible Sharing of Clinical Trial Data was created to address the issues. The authors of an ideas and opinions paper being published in Annals of Internal Medicine call for a consistent approach to data-sharing. A benefit-risk assessment should be done to determine whether potential benefits of data sharing, such as clarifying the safety and efficacy of a therapy, preventing repetition of clinical trials that unnecessarily expose patients to new agents, and improving transparency and public trust, outweigh potential risks. The risks may include sharing incorrect or misleading information, issues related to patient consent, and privacy. The authors remind stakeholders that it is not possible to make digital records completely secure or to guarantee patient data security. The author of an accompanying editorial writes about the technical, procedural and political challenges associated with data sharing. He suggests that stakeholders work together to protect both the science behind the clinical data and the patients.

Note: URLs will be live when the embargo lifts. For a PDF or author contact information, please contact Megan Hanks.

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