PharmedOut Newsletter
May 2015

Recent Project News

  • In the April issue of Family Medicine, Dr. Fugh-Berman co-authored "Pharmaceutical Industry Interactions in Family Medicine Residencies Decreased Between 2008 and 2013: A CERA Study". The authors surveyed program directors of U.S. family medicine residencies to see how family medicine residencies' interaction with the pharmaceutical industry changed in the past five years, and compared the results from between 2008 and 2013.
  • On April 20, Dr. Fugh-Berman testified at an FDA hearing on homeopathic product regulation. Her remarks, especially regarding the lack of evidence on homeopathic products' effectiveness and the misleading practice of stocking them next to proven remedies, were picked up by CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Washington ExaminerMedPage Today, and Medline Plus

    She also spoke about the issue as a guest on Forum with Michael Krasny on KQED Public Radio.
  • On April 30, Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in an Associated Press story on how Medicare spends more money on branded drugs compared to generics, and how changing this practice might save money in the program. She commented on certain branded drugs prescribed to seniors, including the antipsychotic Abilify, that have been shown to be dangerous for that age group. 
  • PharmedOut's Resource of the Month: Check out our updated conference schedule, abstracts, and flyer and all the information you need to get registered for "The Real Risks of Rx Drugs". Our acclaimed conferences have been a place for providers, researchers, policymakers, journalists, and advocates to learn about pharmaceutical marketing practices, hidden drug risks, conflicts of interest, and much more. We hope you will join us at Georgetown University on June 11-12!
May's PharmedOut Fodder: Burning Questions to Be Answered at PharmedOut Conference
Does anyone escape a diagnosis? What factors underlie the opioid addiction epidemic? Does the FDA adequately protect the public? Is there corruption in how drugs are tested? Could overtreating elders lead to iatrogenic morbidity and mortality? What are the public health consequences of high-priced drugs? How is testosterone marketed for men in the same way menopausal hormone therapy was marketed to women? How does overpromotion and overuse of anticoagulants, antipsychotics, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and hypoglycemic drugs affect public health? Come discuss these and other topics at a wonderful interdisciplinary conference that attracts scholars from many fields. Twelve CME credits are offered.

Looking for a hotel to stay in during the conference? The Holiday Inn Washington-Georgetown is the closest hotel to the venue at a 10-15 minute walk away. We have reserved a rate of $159/night for conference attendees. Please call 877-531-2705, ask for "Georgetown University PharmedOut" when making a reservation, and use the block code "SSA." This deal will expire on May 15, 2015.

For more information about the conference, see

News Round-Up 
(for more, please follow @pharmed_out on Twitter!)

April 1: Washington Post: "Nearly half of all pre-schoolers with ADHD are on medication" by Lenny Bernstein

April 1: Medical Marketing & Media: "Teva concealed kickbacks in speaker program, former reps allege" by Kevin McCaffrey

April 3: Mother Jones: "University of Minnesota Blasted for Deadly Clinical Trial" by Carl Elliott

April 6: NPR: "Tracking Your Own Health Data Too Closely Can Make You Sick" by Charles Ornstein

April 7: Regulatory Focus: "FDA Issues Stern Warning Letter to Hospira Over Manufacturing Lapses in Italy" by Alexander Gaffney

April 7, 2015: Los Angeles Times: "Use of meds by L.A. County foster, delinquent kids prompts reform" by Garrett Therolf

April 13: New York Times: Editorial: "Conflicts of Interest at the F.D.A."

April 14: The Verge: "WHO calls on scientists to stop withholding results of clinical trials" by James Vincent

April 15: Alternet: "Longevity Doctor: 'Fountain of Youth' Medicine Hyped by Big Pharma Might Cause Premature Aging, Death" by Martha Rosenberg

April 21: WSJ Pharmalot: "Psychiatrists With Ties to AstraZeneca Resign From Texas State Hospital" By Ed Silverman

April 21: National Journal: "Soaring Drug Prices May Be the Next Big Thing for 2016 Contenders" by Dylan Scott 

April 22: Pacific Standard: "Shining a Light on Hidden Medical Research" by Elaine Meyer

April 23: Washington Post: "VA clinic substituted mental-health drugs to save money" by Josh Hicks

April 23: USA Today: "Study: Heroin use is higher than a decade ago" by Donna Leinwand Weger

April 24: WSJ Pharmalot: "Angry Over Drug Prices, More States Push Bills for Pharma to Disclose Costs" by Ed Silverman 

April 26: Wall Street Journal: "Pharmaceutical Companies Buy Rivals’ Drugs, Then Jack Up the Prices" by Jonathan D. Rockoff and Ed Silverman

April 27: Reuters: "Medtronic to halt manufacture of pain drug pump -U.S. regulators" by Susan Kelly

April 28: MinnPost: "Minnesota Legislature must hold hearings on psychiatric research misconduct" by By Trudo Lemmens, Raymond DeVries, and Lois Shepherd

April 29: National Journal: "Big Pharma Collides With Patent Reformers" by Dylan Scott

April 30: New York Times: "Bill to Speed Approvals for Drugs Is Cut Back" By Sabrina Tavernise

Check These Out!

Over 16,000 people died from a prescription painkiller overdose in 2013. This CDC website gives an overview of the epidemic and how overprescribing leads to more abuse deaths.

This Radiolab story asks how much an extra year of life is worth, a question that often arises in our healthcare system.

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