The Associated Press By David B. Caruso
2 November 2006
NEW YORK (AP) - Medical schools in several states are strengthening programs that warn doctors and students not to be dazzled by drug company marketing practices.
DRUGWONKS TRANSLATION: Put on these sunglasses and place a wreath of garlic cloves in all examination rooms.
The Mount Sinai School of Medicine announced Wednesday that it would use a $400,000 grant to remind doctors to question sophisticated sales presentations and rely on solid science when deciding which medications to give patients.
DRUGWONKS TRANSLATION: So tell me, is your new product really more effective? Wow â€“ did you see that shot! These are great seats.
The program is one of five receiving $1.9 million from the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program, which has awarded $11 million to 28 institutions interested in cautioning health care workers about pharmaceutical sales techniques.
DRUGWONKS TRANSLATION: Pharmaceutical sales representatives are really minions of Satan.
The Center for Evidence Based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University administers the grants.
DRUGWONKS TRANSLATION: When it comes to â€œevidence-based policyâ€ we donâ€™t really need evidence â€“ and if you donâ€™t agree you can give us back the check. Thatâ€™s our policy.
One of the programs being implemented at Mount Sinai will be a new type of class at its Morchand Education Center, famous for training exercises in which actors play patients. For these new sessions, though, the actors will be playing pharmaceutical company sales representatives.
DRUGWONKS TRANSLATION: STELLAAAAA!!!!!!
Another part of Mount Sinai's program will advise health care providers how to tactfully deal with patients who see a drug on television and demand a prescription.
DRUGWONKS TRANSLATION: Hey â€“ did you go to medical school too?
Money for the education programs comes from a $430 million settlement that resolved charges that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. illegally paid doctors to prescribe its drug Neurontin for uses that had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
DRUGWONKS TRANSLATION: Providing better medical education is Job One. Actually, thatâ€™s wrong, sorry â€“ demonizing the pharmaceutical industry is Job One. My bad.
The next $6.5 million in grants will be used to inform consumers on how drugs are prescribed and marketed, said the Center for Evidence Based Policy
DRUGWONKS TRANSLATION: And the third traunch will be used to fund a program on better health outcomes through collective farming.