Thursday, May 29, 2008

May issue of Pharma Marketing News

Chock full of great information, especially on the issue of patient compliance (or lack thereof). And the photo of the pharma brand manager in another article made me lol! Click here to access.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NAAMECC and CHC express concerns re: CEJA's Report 1

Check out the joint memo issued by NAAMECC (North American Association of Medical Education and Communications) and CHC (Coalition for Healthcare Communication) regarding CEJA's proposed policy relative to industry support of CME. Click here to access the memo.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"Four score and seven years ago

our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

-Abraham Lincoln

Friday, May 23, 2008

FDA Sentinel Initiative

From the FDA's website:

On May 22, 2008, FDA launched the Sentinel Initiative with the ultimate goal of creating and implementing the Sentinel System--a national, integrated, electronic system for monitoring medical product safety.

The Sentinel System will enable FDA to query multiple, existing data sources, such as electronic health record systems and medical claims databases, for information about medical products. The system will enable FDA to query data sources at remote locations, consistent with strong privacy and security safeguards. Data sources will continue to be maintained by their owners.

This historic new system will strengthen FDA's ability to monitor the performance of a product throughout its entire life cycle, thus enhancing the protection and promotion of public health. Such a system could also ultimately facilitate data mining and other research-related activities.

Click here for add'l information.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


MA medical society up in arms over physician rankings

From the Boston Globe article:

The Massachusetts Medical Society yesterday sought to derail a two-year-old plan under which physicians are ranked for cost and quality measures by health plans associated with the Group Insurance Commission, the agency that oversees health insurance for thousands of public employees at state and local levels.

In a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court, the society - which represents the state's doctors - alleges the commission's plan hurts physicians and patients.

Click here to access.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Zimmer contemplating buyout of surgeons' royalty contracts

From the Financial Times article:

Zimmer, one of the world’s biggest makers of orthopaedic implants, is reviewing its contracts with hundreds of US surgeons in a move that could take the company’s bill for clearing up a legal case last year to more than $450m.

Under procedures intended to make its dealings with surgeons with whom it has consultancy relationships more transparent, Zimmer is considering terminating its royalty contracts with many of these doctors.

Click here to access the article.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Make It Do is an AQHA Hall of Famer!

From the American Quarter Horse Association's website:

America’s Horse, May 1, 2008 – Five individuals and three horses will be inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame during the 2009 American Quarter Horse Association Convention, March 6-9 in San Antonio, Texas.

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame was established in 1975 to honor people and horses instrumental in the development of the breed and the American Quarter Horse Association. Induction into the Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors bestowed by AQHA...

Make It Do

Make It Do was born in 1964. A six-time winner on the track, the sorrel gelding who was nicknamed “Peanuts” would use his speed to chase down steers in the rodeo arena and end up in two Halls. Peanuts was purchased off the race track in 1968 and went on to be a rodeo legend. In 1977, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association awarded a trophy for the first time to the season’s best steer wrestling horse. The top 30 money winners in the event were up for the award and the winner in 1977-78 was Peanuts, who was owned by C.R. Jones of Lakeside, California. Peanuts was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979.

If it's possible to have a crush on a horse, then I had certainly had one on Peanuts! My Uncle Stan (Immenschuh) trained Peanuts as a racehorse, before he went onto rodeo arena glory. Congratulations, Peanuts!

AMA draft report on "Industry Support of Professional Education in Medicine"

It's now posted on the AMA's website:

Per Policy D-600.992, AMA Board and Council reports are being posted here as they have become available for “review by all physicians and the public and comment by AMA members.”

Readers should note that these reports refer only to items to be considered by the AMA House of Delegates during its 2008 Annual Meeting (June 14-18). No action has been taken on these items, and all reports should be considered informational at this time. Only items which have been acted on finally by the House of Delegates can be considered official, with final results reflected in the Proceedings of the House of Delegates...

Click here to access.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Macy Foundation Conference proceedings

Yep, that one! Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Improving Healthcare through Lifelong Learning. Click here to read the whole enchilada.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

ACCME posts new forms

What are they? (Drum roll). They are the Surveyor Report Form and Documentation Review Form that reflect the Updated Accreditation Criteria. Click here to access.

AMA CPPD Town Hall Meeting June 14, 2008

From the AMA News Brief email alert:
The AMA’s Division of Continuing Physician Professional Development will hold its annual Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, June 14 (1:00 – 2:30pm, Comiskey Room) in conjunction with the AMA Annual Meeting. Topics included will be updates from the Council on Medical Education, ACCME accreditation criteria, the AMA's Initiative to Transform Medical Education, the AMA PRA 40th Anniversary, and other emergent AMA issues related to CME/CPPD. This meeting is open to all individuals with an interest in learning more about AMA CPPD issues and the AMA PRA credit system. For more information about this meeting, please contact us at
Click here to go the AMA's website.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Updated code of conduct for British drug makers

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has an updated code of practice, effective July 1, 2008. According to the ABPI press release:
Many of the changes relate to even greater transparency, and include:
  • Companies will have to make publicly available a short description of their support for patient organisations for both financial and significant indirect support.
  • Sponsorship declarations must accurately reflect the nature of the company’s involvement.
  • It will be a breach of the code to fail to disclose details on ongoing clinical trials.
  • Companies will need to have a contract for health professionals and others employed as consultants, and are strongly encouraged to require consultants to declare this as an interest.
  • Companies are also encouraged to make publicly available information about donations and grants to institutions etc that support healthcare and research.
Click here to access the ABPI's press release. Click here to access the code. Hat tip to Pharmalot.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Wishing you a laid back weekend...(well, maybe not that laid back)

humorous pictures

Misuse, overuse, underuse...

Check out "A Good Framework for Distributing Information About Off-Label Uses" written by Scott Gottlieb, M.D. and published on the American Enterprise for Public Policy Research's website; an excerpt:
Just as delays in transmitting information about a drug’s safety can lead to poorly informed medical decisions, the same phenomenon applies when it comes to information about a drug’s effectiveness.
Click here to access the article.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Statement issued on DTC hearing

From the article:
Stupak delivered the following statement:

Nearly 10 years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed its rules related to direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements for prescription pharmaceutical products.

Since then, spending on DTC ads has increased from about $1.1 billion in 1997 to about $4.2 billion in 2005.

This nearly 300 percent increase in DTC ad spending dwarfs the 86 percent spending increase in advertisements to physicians and the 103 percent spending increase in research and development over the same period.
Click here to read the entire statement (and article). I say we blame it all on Joan Lunden.

Are freebies really costies?

From the opinion piece from Dr. Craig in response to AAMC's report on industry support of medical education:
When was the last time you were bribed by a piece of pizza or a logo pen with five days worth of ink?
Click here to read.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Survey results regarding "CME Linkages"

Thanks to those of you who completed the survey! Here are the top-rated areas y'all would like to see addressed in CME Linkages:

CME Best Practices
CME Collaboration
Legislation/Regulatory Issues
Professional Development
Professional Practice Gaps
Physician Survey Results

Respondents included accredited and non-accredited providers and "neither." If you'd like to add your two cents to this survey:

Click Here to take survey

Friday, May 02, 2008

Something borrowed...prescription meds

From the article:
In one-on-one interviews with 700 Americans, roughly 23 percent reported loaning their prescription medications to someone else, and 27 percent reported borrowing prescription medications.
The survey also showed that Whites (23 percent) and Hispanics (26 percent) were more apt to share prescription pain medicines than were African Americans (14 percent). Women were more apt than men to share antibiotics (24 percent vs 12 percent).
Click here to access the article.

DTC advertising - Congressional hearing

When: Thursday, May 8, 2008 (10 a.m. EST)
Direct-to-Consumer Advertising: Marketing, Education, or Deception?
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing
10:00 a.m. in room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Click here to access the link to this hearing.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Maryland e-Care

From the Washington Post article:
The program is designed to supplement the care provided by on-site nurses during overnight shifts in intensive care units by equipping them with instant links to critical care physicians -- specialists known as intensivists -- based at a command center at a Wilmington, Del., hospital.
Click here to access.