Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Very Few Patient Groups Don’t Take Pharma Money

Very Few Patient Groups Don’t Take Pharma Money | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Most patient and consumer advocacy groups receive funds from the pharmaceutical industry, according to a new study released by the group PharmedOut.

 

Only a handful out of 7,685 health advocacy groups in the U.S. are completely independent of pharmaceutical industry money, according to a list the group released Oct. 13. PharmedOut is a Georgetown University Medical Center project that advances evidence-based prescribing and educates health-care professionals about pharmaceutical marketing practices.

 

And industry funding of patient groups, including websites and informational materials, is often not apparent to the average consumer, which could mislead consumers into believing they’re getting unbiased health advice.

 

“Industry funding is often not disclosed on websites or informational materials or is hidden,” PharmedOut Director Adriane Fugh-Berman told me in an Oct. 16 phone call. Funding and sponsorship is often very subtle and difficult to identify, she said.

 

In addition, she said, industry sponsorship can affect the stands patient and consumer groups are willing to take, she said.

 

Groups that accept industry funding are affected by that money, regardless of whether they think they are, she said.

 

"Look at the stands taken and not taken,” she said. “For example, where is the anger and outrage about drug costs?”

 

Fugh-Berman is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology and in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Pharma 'Patient Centricity' Aids & Abets the Opioid Epidemic”; http://sco.lt/5RJse1

  •  “93% of Patient Advocacy Groups Included in FDA Funding Discussions Receive $ from Pharma”; http://sco.lt/8jkvFh

  • “Patient Advocacy Groups with Funding & Form Letter from @PhRMA Oppose Nevada Legislation”; http://sco.lt/6QlP9N
  • “More Than Two-thirds of Patient Advocacy Groups Receive Industry Funding”; http://sco.lt/6Ftgzh
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ACCME versus PharmedOut: #Pharma Influence Over CME

ACCME versus PharmedOut: #Pharma Influence Over CME | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut (left): Dr. Graham McMahon, president and CEO of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (right)


A long-standing critic of pharmaceutical marketing practices is calling for beefing up accredited continuing medical education standards, after she traded sharply worded commentaries with Dr. Graham McMahon, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's president and CEO, in recent issues of a BMJ ethics publication. 


The critic, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut, a Georgetown University project that studies how marketing affects pharmaceutical prescribing practices, in December published a letter referring to CME as “commercial medical education,” arguing that the ACCME doesn't track reporting of in-kind support, such as the costs of equipment, hotel rooms or meeting spaces, or advertising and exhibits income.


Calling PharmedOut's accusations “wholly inaccurate,” McMahon countered that, “Despite the authors' rhetoric, they provide no evidence for their claims to suggest that our work to create and maintain independence in CME has been corrupted or maligned,” he said in a statement. 


The dustup followed a viewpoint co-authored by Fugh-Berman that appeared in the June 29 edition of the BMJ's Journal of Medical Ethics. Titled “Hypoactive sexual desire disorder: inventing a disease to sell low libido,” the piece examined what the authors said is one of the latest instances of “disease branding,” whereby drugmakers develop a condition while they are developing a drug for that condition.


In this case, researchers identified multiple industry-funded, accredited CME modules on hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women that took place in advance of the FDA approval in mid-2015 of the drug Addyi (flibanserin), the first prescription medication sanctioned for that condition.


Of the 14 accredited CME modules about hypoactive sexual desire disorder researchers studied, all disclosed funding from BI, the drug's owner at that time, and 12 out of 14 modules had at least one author who had financial ties to BI. 


“There are certainly women who are troubled by low libido, but there is no reliable scientific evidence that hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a real medical condition,” the researchers contended. “Invented diagnoses may outlive the drugs for which they were invented. Although Boehringer Ingelheim did not create hypoactive sexual desire disorder, the company apparently attempted to brand the condition through CME modules available years before the expected launch of flibanserin.”


They concluded their research by calling for serious consideration of banning industry sponsorship of CME.

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ACCME versus PharmedOut: #Pharma Influence Over CME

ACCME versus PharmedOut: #Pharma Influence Over CME | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut (left): Dr. Graham McMahon, president and CEO of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (right)

A long-standing critic of pharmaceutical marketing practices is calling for beefing up accredited continuing medical education standards, after she traded sharply worded commentaries with Dr. Graham McMahon, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's president and CEO, in recent issues of a BMJ ethics publication. 


The critic, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut, a Georgetown University project that studies how marketing affects pharmaceutical prescribing practices, in December published a letter referring to CME as “commercial medical education,” arguing that the ACCME doesn't track reporting of in-kind support, such as the costs of equipment, hotel rooms or meeting spaces, or advertising and exhibits income.


Calling PharmedOut's accusations “wholly inaccurate,” McMahon countered that, “Despite the authors' rhetoric, they provide no evidence for their claims to suggest that our work to create and maintain independence in CME has been corrupted or maligned,” he said in a statement. 


The dustup followed a viewpoint co-authored by Fugh-Berman that appeared in the June 29 edition of the BMJ's Journal of Medical Ethics. Titled “Hypoactive sexual desire disorder: inventing a disease to sell low libido,” the piece examined what the authors said is one of the latest instances of “disease branding,” whereby drugmakers develop a condition while they are developing a drug for that condition.


In this case, researchers identified multiple industry-funded, accredited CME modules on hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women that took place in advance of the FDA approval in mid-2015 of the drug Addyi (flibanserin), the first prescription medication sanctioned for that condition.

Of the 14 accredited CME modules about hypoactive sexual desire disorder researchers studied, all disclosed funding from BI, the drug's owner at that time, and 12 out of 14 modules had at least one author who had financial ties to BI. 

“There are certainly women who are troubled by low libido, but there is no reliable scientific evidence that hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a real medical condition,” the researchers contended. “Invented diagnoses may outlive the drugs for which they were invented. Although Boehringer Ingelheim did not create hypoactive sexual desire disorder, the company apparently attempted to brand the condition through CME modules available years before the expected launch of flibanserin.”


They concluded their research by calling for serious consideration of banning industry sponsorship of CME.

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