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  • Advice as graduation approaches....

    To the Class of 2013,

    Congratulations on an incredible achievement; in a few short days or weeks you will be receiving your MD/DO degree and then embarking onto residency! While you undergo this transition, the field of medicine also is facing dramatic changes, both internally and externally. There has been increasing scrutiny on the objectivity of our judgement as physicians and how our relationships with industry can affect the trust relationship that is at the heart of the doctor-patient dyad.

    Patients are skeptical of our relationships with industry and are concerned that they may compromise our ability to render effective and cost conscious care. In fact, studies have shown that when exposed to industry interactions such as gifts (even pens!), drug samples, free meals, and travel, doctors are more likely to prescribe costly name-brand medications and less likely to prescribe the cheaper generic alternatives. You might see this as a deviation from the evidence-based prescribing methods you learned over the past four years, while patients may see it as an erosion of trust and a higher bottom line cost for medical care in a world of skyrocketing healthcare costs.

    If you can appreciate that industry interactions with medical professionals have ...

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  • Dollars for Doctors: Are Pharmaceutical Companies Paying Your Doctors?

    AMSA PharmFree Fellow Reshma Ramachandran joined a panel on American Law Journal to debate whether physicians should take money from pharmaceutical companies. They also discussed the recent GlaxoSmithKline settlement over "unsavory marketing practices" and its "unhealthy alliance with doctors," specifically Dr. Drew.

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  • Watch the PharmFree Scorecard Launch!

    On Thursday, March 8th, AMSA released the findings of the 2011-2012 PharmFree Scorecard.

    Watch the Webex now!

    And check out to see what your school got for a grade!

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  • 2011-2012 PharmFree Scorecard Launched at AMSA Convention

    Despite the fact that only two medical schools ban sales representatives from campus, the majority of U.S. medical schools have implemented strong conflict-of-interest policies this year, according to the 2011-2012 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) PharmFree Scorecard. Released today, the Scorecard finds that 102 of 152 medical schools (67%) now receive a grade of A or B for their policies governing pharmaceutical industry interaction with medical school faculty and students, compared with 79 last year.

    Using letter grades to assess schools’ performance in eleven potential areas of conflict, the AMSA PharmFree Scorecard ( offers a comprehensive look at the current and changing landscape of conflict-of-interest policies across American medical education, as well as more in-depth assessment of individual policies that govern industry interaction. Now in its fifth year, the Scorecard analyzes gifts and meals from industry to doctors, paid promotional speaking for industry, acceptance of free drug samples, interaction with sales representatives and industry-funded education. The participation rate was 98% of all eligible medical institutions.

    Of the 152 U.S. medical schools, 28 receive As (18%), 74 Bs (49%), 15 Cs (10%), 13 Ds (9%) and 9 Fs (6%). Thirteen respondents received a grade of “In Process” because their policies are ...

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