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Briefly Noted . . .
Three Part Series On Pharmaceutical Marketing Coming Soon

I attended an interesting teleconference yesterday sponsored by the Prescription Access Litigation Project (PAL).  This group is working to draw attention to what they believe are inappropriate pharmaceutical company marketing practices. 

I am currently planning to write a three-part series on the subject of pharmaceutical marketing that will appear on this blog. 

Part I will focus on the economic and social forces that have led to current pharmaceutical marketing practices.

Part II will provide an overview of what the pharma industry and its critics (i.e., PAL) say about drug marketing

In part III, I will offer my perspective on this issue.

Look for this series during the first two weeks of May. 

Study Finds No Link Between Industry Ties & FDA Panel Decisions

I came across an interesting study recently indicating that industry ties have no influence on the decisions members of FDA advisory panels make.  The study indicates that if panel members with conflicts of interest were excluded, it would have not changed the advisory board's decision.  However, in many cases, there would have been fewer favorable votes for a medication.  Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen conducted the study. 

(As many readers may be aware, the FDA asks distinguished scientists and physicians to serve on panels in different therapeutic categories and advise the agency on whether it should approve medications.) 

Some believe that physicians that declare any financial interest in a company should recuse themselves entirely from any decisions they make about a drug  The FDA sees it differently, saying: [FDA] carefully weighs any potential financial interest with the essential need for world-class scientific expertise . . . only in this way can the agency protect and advance the highest standards of public health. No one participates in an advisory board capacity until they have been fully vetted by FDA staff, and we are convinced they will make an unbiased, productive contribution to the scientific process."

Click here to view the abstract of this study. 
News Flash: Merck Loses Another Case
The AP just reported that a Texas jury found Merck "liable for the death of a 71-year-old man who had a fatal heart attack within a month of taking its painkiller Vioxx and ordered the company to pay $32 million." ... Continue Reading
Trying To Keep Up? Learn From The Masters!
B.L. Ochman's running a great series featuring commentary from master bloggers about how they keep up with the flood of information coming at them every day.  I'm reading this series and taking the tips featured in it to heart.  B.L.... Continue Reading
Briefly Noted . . .
Following are my thoughts on some interesting blogosphere and media happenings I’ve been involved with/following recently.  The Power Of Blog-Inspired Collaboration I have been fortunate to be involved in some interesting healthcare blogosphere events this week that demonstrate the power... Continue Reading
New Site Grades The Media On Health Stories
A new Web site, Health News Review, was recently launched that everyone interested in healthcare marketing communications should pay attention to.  The site, which was developed by the Foundation For Informed Decision Making, reviews health news stories and grades them... Continue Reading
I'm Hosting The Health Wonk Review This Week
This week I'm hosting the next installment of the blog carnival, The Health Wonk Review."  Every two weeks, a different blogger hosts this event, which highlights the best health policy-related postings since the previous edition.  For more information about the... Continue Reading
Participate In The Blogposium!
I'm participating in a special project Jack Mason of HealthNex has started. It is called Blogposium, a “three-day collaboration of healthcare bloggers to expand the Clinical Informatics Wiki.”I'm writing about the impact of blogs and SMS (text messaging) on the... Continue Reading
Merck’s Woes: How Will This Impact Pharmaceutical Communications?
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that a jury in New Jersey awarded $9 million in punitive damages to John McDarby, who suffered from a heart attack in 2004 after taking Vioxx for four years.  According to the Times, this... Continue Reading
What Are The Implications Of Google Health?
Over the past few weeks the blogosphere has been buzzing about a secret project Google may be working on, titled “Google Health.”  According to some bloggers, Google is developing a healthcare portal (similar to Google Finance) that will help people... Continue Reading
Apr 7
Cross Post Time: On Race and Medicine
I thought readers of this blog might be interested in an interview series I am running on race and medicine on my other blog, Envisioning 2.0.  To date, I have run three interviews in this series.  It is titled, "Conversations... Continue Reading
Apr 6
First Comprehensive Report on Healthcare and Blogs Released
I’m excited to announce the release of the first comprehensive report on healthcare blogs.  The report, which I developed for my healthcare marketing communications consultancy Envision Solutions, provides readers with lots of information about the impact of blogs on patients,... Continue Reading
Apr 5
Healthcare Videos On YouTube
I recently came across a post on Christine Gorman's recently launched blog (Global Health Update) focusing on healthcare-related videos appearing YouTube.  Gorman's pretty enthusastic about the service, but is careful to note its many shortcomings.  She has posted information about... Continue Reading

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