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Pharma Phacts News

Start of weekly debate topic

Hey everyone,

We are kicking off our weekly post out,

Pharma Phacts will find a controversial pharmaceutical marketing topic, present some a journal article or 2 and hopefully kick off some debate about the topic. Within the month, this should be all on an upgraded website but for now faithful facebook will suffice.

The first issue is.. us,

Does pharmaceutical marketing affect medical students? Do you think that an “open and critical mind” is a shield from its effects?

To start the contraversy, below is an extract from a Letter to Editor in The Age newspaper. It was sent by a trainee surgeon and appeared on July 6 after Pharma Phacts gained some media for its launch.

“Many genuine educational opportunities would not be possible without the support of industry. To boycott these opportunities just because of sponsorship is akin to not supporting your AFL team because you don’t like its sponsor. I know my colleagues attend such meetings with open and critical minds and, in their training and practice, are able to distinguish between evidence and science, rather than spin and promotional material.”
Michael Wu, Box Hill North

Below are some links to 1)A recent article from the Arch of Internal Med that looked at the effects of pharma gifts on students from 2 different unis.. (for full article some of you may have to go through your library)
and 2) an easier to read article from the Student Lancet.

‘Effect of Exposure to Small Pharmaceutical Promotional Items on Treatment Preferences’, Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(9):887-893.

So, have a read, and if you feel heated, for or against, we have started up a Topic board for this weeks debate. Next week we will share some recent evidence on whether “intelligence” and knowledge” provides protection from the effects of pharma advertising.



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Pharma Phacts are a medical student group committed to raising awareness about pharmaceutical companies and their interactions with medical students.