Pharma Knows Best? Dueling agendas on industry-medicine relationships

One week from today, Thursday, June 16, Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, and her project based at Georgetown University begin a two-day conference, “Pharma Knows Best? Managing Medical Knowledge.”

Topics include ghostwriting, pharma-free continuing medical education, disease awareness campaigns and, in general, academic scientists’ relationships with industry.

Speakers include:

Marcia Angell MD, Harvard Medical School
Virginia Barbour MD, PLoS Medicine
Arnold Relman MD, Harvard Medical School
Joel Lexchin MD MSc, York University, University of Toronto
Gordon Schiff MD, Harvard Medical School
Eric Campbell PhD, Harvard Medical School
Shannon Brownlee MS, New America Health Policy Program
Carl Elliott MD PhD, University of Minnesota School of Medicine
Edmund Pellegrino MD, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University
Curt Furberg MD PhD, Wake Forest University, North Carolina

The other day Duff Wilson of the New York Times contrasted this event with another upcoming event hosted by “a nonprofit group called the Association of Clinical Researchers and Educators… to explain the reasons to support collaborations between the industry and doctors.” Excerpt from Wilson’s post:

“The second conference was co-founded by Dr. Thomas P. Stossel, a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of translational medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has seen himself as a sometimes lonely voice to speak in favor of industry collaborations with researchers and medical schools.

Dr. Stossel argues that the financial aid and research interactions benefit patients and advance science. He will lead a panel called, “Academia/Industry Collaboration: Why is it under attack by politicians, deans and the media?”

Other A.C.R.E. panels will discuss what industry, patients and medical students should do to push back against the type of thinking generally represented at the Georgetown conference.”

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