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GUMC researcher creates first Web-interactive CME course for physicians on pharmaceutical marketing
Date:3/31/2009

Washington, DC Difficult-to-remember generic drug names. Unregulated continuing medical education talks for physicians. These are only two of the strategies used by some in the pharmaceutical industry to influence the prescribing habits of doctors, according to a Georgetown University Medical Center researcher and director of PharmedOut, an initiative aimed at increasing physician access to unbiased information about drugs. These and other marketing efforts are explored in a newly created, free, web-based, accredited course to help prescribers assess how marketing affects their own beliefs about drugs and to increase awareness of pharmaceutical promotional techniques. The project was created by PharmedOut and funded through the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program.

"We want to educate doctors about the many ways pharmaceutical companies attempt to influence our knowledge of drugs and our prescribing behavior," said the course's co-creator, Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, director of PharmedOut and associate professor of Physiology & Biophysics at GUMC.

The online course, titled "Pharmalyzer -- -- Are You Prescribing Under the Influence?" is accredited for three continuing medical education (CME) credits.* The module may be accessed through PharmedOut.org or the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

On the site, the authors outline the many marketing tactics used by pharmaceutical companies, which they say "attempt to influence our knowledge of drugs and our prescribing behavior though many channels, including personal relationships, publications, meetings, and events."

In one section of the online course, viewers are asked to name drugs associated with highly recognizable images from TV and print advertising without drug names are shown and viewers are asked to name the drug being representing.

"The fact that we can name the products means that the ads have served their purpose," exp
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
215-514-9751
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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