A very grand Grand Rounds

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If you liked last week's Grand Rounds, aka a collection of the week's hottest medical blog posts, go to MedMusings and check out this week's edition. Of particular interest to the CME and pharma communities should be this post about greedy pharma execs from the Healthcare Blog, especially if you aren't feeling kindly toward those at the top of the drug heap these days. Even better, IMHO, is Jim Baker's item on how two different approaches to the treatment of adolescent depression seem to reflect the relationship betweeen treating physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. While two circumstances does not an ironclad case make, it seems to indicate that, despite what some docs say, financial ties with pharma may affect the way they approach problems, if not actual prescribing habits.

However you feel about the new Standards for Commercial Support, this also is an indication that the better able you are to disclose and "resolve" potential conflicts of interest your faculty and other stakeholders (and those who did the research they base their results on, but that's another story) have, the better you can control biases they may not even know they have from creeping into your CME content.

Then again, there's the view of Dr. JS Alpert as posed in an editorial in the February issue of the American Journal of Medicine that Anne Taylor-Vaisey pointed out to me earlier today:

The way to untie this Gordian knot is, in my opinion, by casting sunshine on all components of the relationship between physicians and pharmaceutical companies. Thus, I would propose a national Internet-based registry of transactions between doctors and pharmaceutical companies with the market values of these transactions. To make this mandate reasonable, I would suggest a threshold level of value-for example, all transactions greater than $100. I would exclude the value of drug samples supplied to physicians, since these benefit patients. The public registry would be organized around a user-friendly index to facilitate locating specific physicians. Following physician visits, industry documentation could be electronically transferred by pharmaceutical representatives to the companys' main offices and then uploaded to the Web-based registry.

Well, that would make getting those disclosures a lot easier, wouldn't it?

If you liked last week's Grand Rounds, aka a collection of the week's hottest medical blog posts, go to MedMusings and check out this week's edition. Of particular interest to the CME and pharma communities should be this post about greedy pharma execs from the Healthcare Blog, especially if you aren't feeling kindly toward those at the top of the drug heap these days. Even better, IMHO, is Jim Baker's item on how two different approaches to the treatment of adolescent depression seem to reflect the relationship betweeen treating physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. While two circumstances does not an ironclad case make, it seems to indicate that, despite what some docs say, financial ties with pharma may affect the way they approach problems, if not actual prescribing habits.

However you feel about the new Standards for Commercial Support, this also is an indication that the better able you are to disclose and "resolve" potential conflicts of interest your faculty and other stakeholders (and those who did the research they base their results on, but that's another story) have, the better you can control biases they may not even know they have from creeping into your CME content.

Then again, there's the view of Dr. JS Alpert as posed in an editorial in the February issue of the American Journal of Medicine that Anne Taylor-Vaisey pointed out to me earlier today:

Well, that would make getting those disclosures a lot easier, wouldn't it?

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