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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2008


Laura Cavender

Education About Pharmaceutical Influence on Prescribing Shows Change in Doctors' Opinions

PharmedOut presentation is changing doctors’ views of drug reps

Washington, DC-- PharmedOut announced today the public release of its successful slideshow, “The Physician-Pharma Relationship,” designed to educate physicians and medical students about how pharmaceutical marketing practices can affect prescribing behavior. 

“Pharmaceutical companies spend more than the entire NIH budget on promoting drugs,” said Adriane Fugh-Berman MD, director of PharmedOut and associate professor in the department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center. “We seem to be convincing physicians that gifts, meals and attention do affect what they prescribe.”

In evaluations of the presentation’s effect, participant responses to the question “Will you change your prescribing behavior as a result of this talk?” included the following remarks:

 “I won’t go to dinners anymore.”
Neurologist, University of Virginia - Charlottesville

“I will refuse samples.”
Pediatrician, Georgetown University

“Think about why I prescribe a drug that I’m used to before I do.”
Pediatrics Resident, Howard University

“Think more about prescribing less advertised drugs.”
Resident, University of Virginia - Charlottesville

“I will be more aware of what I am being told and what is actually true.”
Medical Student, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

“PharmedOut is helping physicians make their own decisions by educating them about how drugs are marketed,” states Douglas Melnick MD, MPH, a public health physician in Los Angeles who once worked for a pharmaceutical company's medical communications group in support of pharmaceutical marketing campaigns.

“We’ve presented this slideshow at more than a dozen venues, and it really seems to affect physicians,” states Dr. Fugh-Berman “We’re releasing the slideshow to spread this information to as many people as possible.“ The slideshow is available at

PharmedOut is an independent project run by physicians to disseminate information about how pharmaceutical companies influence physician prescribing, and to increase access to unbiased information about drugs. The website provides news, resources, and links to CME courses that are not funded by pharmaceutical companies. PharmedOut is funded through the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education grant program, created as part of a 2004 settlement between Warner-Lambert, a division of Pfizer, Inc., and the Attorneys General of 50 States and the District of Columbia, to settle allegations that Warner-Lambert conducted an unlawful marketing campaign for the drug Neurontin® (gabapentin) that violated state consumer protection laws.

Slideshow available here:

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding.


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