Lilly funds 60 Boston docs

From The Boston Globe:

lilly logoAt least 60 Massachusetts doctors collectively have earned more than a half-million dollars this year as speakers paid by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. – including two Boston Medical Center physicians whose participation is being reviewed for possible violation of a hospital policy against marketing activities by its doctors.

After learning of the doctors’ company-sponsored talks from the Globe, Boston Medical Center said it would investigate the matter and directed the physicians not to make any further presentations on behalf of Lilly in the meantime.

So much for internal disclosure. More from the Globe:

bmcLogo1[1]The use of physicians in speakers programs or “bureaus’’ like Lilly’s, in which doctors generally use company-prepared materials to explain a drug’s uses and dosing to their colleagues, is widespread in the drug industry. But the practice is under growing scrutiny and some academic medical centers are barring their doctors from participating, believing that physicians essentially become hired advertising guns, with weakened credibility.

10/1 update  The Wall Street Journal reports on new industry authorship guidelines from PHRMA.

 Here are a few interesting details, followed by a big grain of salt:… The guidelines are purely voluntary.

Also see today’s Globe editorial and letters both for and against industry support.

 WCVB Channel 5 in Boston also reports.

 Health reformers at Boston’s Health Care for All commented on their blog. So did Gooz News. 

 Here’s the Lilly list of company funded docs.

 Note that Lilly was not a big supporter of the state’s ban on pharma junkets for docs. From the Boston Business Journal.

 The head of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. on Friday blasted a new law governing how drug companies market to physicians, calling it a bad move that will hamper innovation and force companies to reconsider expanding in Massachusetts.

Still, it didn’t stop the biotech industry from planning their annual meeting here — for the second time in three years — as announced yesterday.

For more on critics of pharma sponsorship of doctors, see the Integrity in Science Project.   

For more on docs who want to be free to work closely with industry, see the webcasts and slides from July’s inaugural meeting of The Association of Clinical Researchers and Educators (ACRE) an “organization of medical professionals who recognize that appropriate physician-industry collaborations and relationships benefit patients and advance science.”  Also note BHN’s reporting from the meeting, which took place at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.   

 At that meeting, Dr. Carey D. Kimmelstiel,head of clinical cardiology at the Tufts University School of Medicine, talked about the benefits of having clinicians give industry-sponsored talks. Preparing the talk educates the speaker. He or she gets feedback and an audience of busy docs gets a quick update. He did say some of the transparency are good because it discourages clinicians from showing company-produced slides without really understanding them.

 But he believes the law has constrained continuing medical education by limiting the “the only reliable source of such funding, which is industry.”  

 Click here for his full statement and all of the presentations at the ACRE meeting.

9/30 The Wall Street Journal reports on new industry authorship guidlelines from PHRMA.

 Here are a few interesting details, followed by a big grain of salt:… The guidelines are purely voluntary.


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