Friday, March 11, 2011

Finally, Some Upcoming Events to Announce: PharmedOut Conference, Transparency International Summer Course

In our side-bar to the right we have a section for "Upcoming Meetings and Events."  Sadly, it is often empty.  Perhaps as a result of the anechoic effect, there seem to be few talks, workshops, much less symposia, conferences, and courses on the issues we discuss on Health Care Renewal. 

However, I am happy to now note two upcoming events of interest.

First, and most directly related, is the 2011 conference, entitled, "Pharma Knows Best? -Managing Medical Knowledge," on 16-17 June, 2011 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, USA. is dedicated to addressing how pharmaceutical companies seek to influence medical decision making. 
My editorial comment is that pharmaceutical companies, and also biotechnology, device, health care information technology, and health insurance companies spend billions on marketing to try to influence health care professionals and patients to use their products just here in the US, and probably hundreds of millions on public relations to try to influence policy-makers in favor of their interests.  The amounts spent to educate health care professionals and the public about these efforts, and particularly about deceptive marketing and PR, stealth marketing and stealth advocacy campaigns, etc, is minuscule by comparison. is one of the few organizations trying to address the hype and spin.
Second is the Transparency International Summer School on Integrity, to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 11-15 July, to provide "intensive anti-corruption training for future leaders."  Unfortunately for the rest of us, enrollment appears to be restricted to "students, graduates, and young professionals" from the post-communist countries. 
My editorial comment is that despite the prevalence and importance of health care corruption, as documented by the 2006 Transparency International Global Corruption report which focused on health care, and of the importance of conflicts of interest as risk factors for corruption, there are very few opportunities to teach and learn about these issues anywhere in the world.  (As I once noted, I could only find a single course on health care corruption and related issues in any US university.)  Transparency International has a record of efforts made to directly fight corruption, and to teach about related issues.  Would that such courses be available all over the world.

No comments: