Registration is still openfor the PharmedOut CME conference on June 11-12, "The Real Risks of Rx Drugs". Registrations after June 4th will incur a $25 late fee, so register now!
On Tuesday, May 12th, PharmedOut discovered that D.C.'s AccessRx law, which requires pharmaceutical companies to report payments made in the District, was in jeopardy of being repealed during a D.C. Council Budget Markup meeting scheduled for May 14th. What followed were two days of intense work and outreach.
PharmedOut's project manager Alessandra Hirsch coordinated a flash campaign, flooding the D.C. Council's Committee on Health and Human Services with "one-pagers," phone calls, and a letter signed by 50 D.C. residents and concerned scientists. On the morning of the vote, Alessandra was on the phone with councilmember aides, briefing them on the importance of AccessRx. Just an hour later, the repeal was defeated in a 3-to-1 victory. Thanks to Alessandra, AccessRx lives on.
On May 13th, Dr. Fugh-Berman was interviewed for CBS Chicago about flibanserin, also known as the "female Viagra." Although the drug's manufacturer, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, cites sexism as the reason the FDA has not approved flibanserin, Dr. Fugh-Berman cites the science: “15 percent of the women in flibanserin trials dropped out because of side effects of sedation and nausea and fatigue," and "it hasn’t been tested long-term.” An FDA Advisory Committee meeting, open to the public, will be held June 4th.
Science 2.0 covered the flibanserin issue with an article on May 28th. Dr. Fugh-Berman is quoted as saying, "It's not sexist for the FDA not to approve a drug that it doesn’t believe is effective or safe. It’s a classic marketing technique to first create a problem, and then sell the solution, and that's what’s going on here."
PharmedOut's Resource of the Month: Even if you can't make the PharmedOut conference, there are other ways to support our work. Please see here for more information!
June's PharmedOut Fodder: Psychiatry Under The Influence
Pharmaceutical company influence strongly pervades the field of psychiatry, from drug rep visits in both medical schools and private practices, to the television ads broadcast to consumers, to where it all starts with the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM).
Though we eagerly await all of the presentations at PharmedOut's upcoming conference, Lisa Cosgrove PhD's talk on "Psychiatry Under The Influence", also the title of her new book, is especially bound to resonate with people from all fields. Dr. Cosgrove, a professor at the University of Massachusetts and fellow at Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, will discuss the most recent, controversial edition of the DSM and the integrity of its diagnostic boundaries. Does a "pill for every ill" really help people, or is it causing a health and financial burden? Dr. Cosgrove will examine this question and more in the state of psychiatry.
For more information about Dr. Cosgrove's talk and the conference, please visit http://pharmedout.org. Conference abstracts are here.
*** News Round-Up (for more, please follow @pharmed_out on Twitter!)