Inside this Issue - April, 2012
Advancing Conflict-free Medical Education
The Partnership to Advance Conflict-free Medical Education (PACME), a joint project of the National Physicians Alliance, the American Medical Student Association Foundation, Community Catalyst, and the Pew Charitable Trusts continues to press academic medical centers to adopt strong new conflict-of-interest policies. The release of AMSA’s 2011-2012 PharmFree Scorecard highlights progress around the country.
And MARK YOUR CALENDAR: the NPA will be webcasting a National Grand Rounds presentation on these issues at noon on Thursday, May 31st at the University of Connecticut, School of Medicine, Understanding Emerging Trends in Industry-Academic Relationships. It will feature Eric G. Campbell, PhD, Associate Professor, Institute for Health Policy and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Campbell has published extensively on this subject and participated on the Institute of Medicine Committee which explored and issued recommendations related to conflicts of interest in medical research, education and practice. Click here for more information on this first of a series of National Grand Rounds events.
AMSA Releases 2011-2012 PharmFree Scorecard
The American Medical Student Association released its 2011-2012 PharmFree Scorecard.
AMSA found that 102 of 157 (67%) medical schools 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.
Now in its 5th year, the Scorecard uses letter grade to evaluate each school’s performance in eleven potential areas of conflict, including gifts and meals from industry to doctors, paid promotional speaking, acceptance of free drug samples, interaction with sales representatives, and industry-funded education.
Access to sales representatives remains a challenging area. Only two schools – University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and Florida State University College of Medicine – completely ban sales representatives from campus, giving them a perfect score in that domain.
In his blog regarding the release of the new PharmFree Scorecard, NPA member and Unbranded Doctor CoChair, Dr. Rupin Thakkar says he believes US medical schools are moving in the right direction, despite significant work to be done. You can read Dr. Thakkar’s blog here.
NPA Executive Director Featured in Health Affairs
Check out Jean Silver-Isenstadt’s Physicians with Conflicts of Interest letter to the editor in the April edition of Health Affairs.
The letter was written in response to Maran Wolston’s article, An MS Patient Loses Trust When She Finds Out Her Doctor is Paid by Drug Companies, published in the December, 2011 edition of Health Affairs.
Unbranded Doctors in Action
Interview with Ben Schaefer, MD, FACC, Northeast Cardiology Associates, Chief of Cardiology, St. Joseph Hospital. Click here to read.
NPA Submits Comments on Proposed Physician Payment Sunshine Rules
NPA joined PACME partner Community Catalyst, along with over 300 other organizations, in submitting comments on draft federal rules to regulate drug and medical device industry reporting of payments to physicians and teaching hospitals. The physician payment “sunshine” provisions of the Affordable Care Act require industry to disclose payments on a searchable public website. NPA supports increased transparency and encourages CMS to finalize rules and begin the reporting process, which was to start January 1st. Thanks to the nearly 100 NPA members who weighed in on the proposed rules during the comment period. You can read NPA’s submitted comments here and you can read those submitted by Community Catalyst here.
Were you Aware? NPA hosts Bi-Monthly Conflict-free Leadership Calls
NPA provides technical assistance and leadership development to physician and residents interested in reducing conflicts of interest at their home institutions through Bi-Monthly conference calls with experts who are leading the way on the management of relationships with industry.
- The first call, Leading the Way to Conflict-free Medical Education, was held on February 22nd and featured discussion of AMSA’s PharmFree Scorecard.
- The second call, Dealing with Conflicts of Interest in Academic Medical Centers, was held April 18th and featured case studies illustrating the practical challenges that institutions face when developing COI policies.
Click here to listen to these calls or read summaries. The next call is scheduled for late June.
NPA Members in Action
NPA-President-elect Dr. Cheryl Bettigole and NPA board member Jennifer Ng’andu participated in a Town Hall event in Philadelphia with Dr. Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General of the United States, and a panel of health professionals and advocates hosted by Congreso de Latinos Unidos, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), and Families USA.
NPA President Dr. Valerie Arkoosh received the Health Care Hero of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Health Access Network for her tireless work to support equal access to health care for all Pennsylvanians. We are so proud!
NPA Board member Dr. Chris Cassel, geriatrician and president CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, was interviewed on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane – listen to the interview Medical specialists warn of overtesting.
NPA Board of Directors met in Chicago this month, and enjoyed a reception with local members. Kathleen Duffy, Communications Organizer, Campaign for Better Health Care provided an update on ACA implementation efforts in Illinois, and NPA member Dr. Peter DeGolia described recent speakers’ trainings he has organized in Ohio. Contact Becky Martin if you would be interested in attending a speakers’ training in Chicago or in your area: firstname.lastname@example.org
In response to high demand, new waiting room materials—available while supplies last! Order today!
The NPA has partnered with the National Women’s Law Center to publish new brochures providing non-partisan, fact-based information about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for Women. Click here to preview.
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Food Day Campaign
Food movement leaders are gearing up for the second annual Food Day, the nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food. More than 2,300 events in all 50 states took place on the first Food Day, and organizers intend for Food Day 2012 to represent an even bigger grassroots campaign for improved food policies. Food Day is October 24 every year.
Center for Science in the Public Interest Food Day press release and link to a short (2:30) Food Day promotional video that includes examples of activities from 2011 is on www.foodday.org.
Learn More about Other NPA Activities
Building Trust & Integrity in Medicine
NPA - National Grand Rounds: Dr. Eric G. Campbell, PhD
Understanding Emerging Trends in Industry-Academic Relationships
Noon, 5/31/12, University of Connecticut, School of Medicine
June 14th and 15th
PharmedOut: Missing the Target, When Practitioners Harm More than Heal
Georgetown University, Washington DC
November 10-11, 2012
Mark Your Calendars for the 7th NPA Annual Conference
Leading the Way: the Next Chapter in America’s Health
Hilton, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
Featured Benefit: Save Money on Reliable Movers
Bekins Van Lines is the oldest and one of the most recognized names in the relocation industry, and has a special discount for NPA members....
PACME is a joint project of the National Physicians Alliance, the American Medical Student Association Foundation, Community Catalyst, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The project aims to create both external and internal pressure for medical schools and academic medical centers to adopt and enforce strong conflict-of-interest policies.
For more information please contact Ann Woloson, NPA Director of Education
This partnership and related materials were made possible by a grant from the state Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program which is funded by the multi-state settlement of consumer fraud claims regarding the marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin.
Jan 31, 2012
Apr 27, 2012