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Required reading on industry-funded CME

A devastating indictment. That’s what Dr. Daniel Carlat – on his blog – called yesterday’s piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Drug firms’ cash skews doctor classes: Company-funded UW courses often favor medicine, leave out side effects.”

I’m late in weighing in on this, so I’ll just refer you to Carlat’s analysis.

But I will add this: somehow that little paper in Milwaukee continues to publish top-notch tough investigative health care journalism and their readers should appreciate what they’re getting while they’re still getting it. This story was more than 2,500 words of important news – not the usual 300 word drivel trumpeting breakthroughs from the medical journals. Carlat said “Occasionally, a piece of investigative journalism sets into motion processes that strike corrupt business practices at their core. …it will become required reading for all those involved in health care policy.”

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Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.

John Butler

April 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm

The article makes this type of marketing practice seem like a new discovery. It has been around for awhile. News is… transparency, I believe has remarkably improved in recent years. Most institutions are extremely sensitive to bias- in contrast to the past.
I think this it is important for the public to know that a huge amount of pharma marketing is used to influence physician practices. Journal ads, “detailing” literature, pencils and pens- its everywhere.
However, what was expected and acceptable 10-20 years ago, has dramatically diminished in my opinion.
I just returned from a week long CME conference presented by Mayo, and each presenter preceded his presentation with financial disclosures- a minority had them. But, there was transparency.
This is in extreme contrast to past practices.
I think the news is that disclosure and transparency is headed in the right direction.
John Butler MD