PharmedOut is led by a team of academic physicians; our volunteer network includes nurses, pharmacists, industry insiders, students and others.
Adriane Fugh-Berman, Director
Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology and in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, where she teaches graduate and medical students about evidence-based medicine and critical assessment of drugs and other therapeutics. As director of PharmedOut, a GUMC research and education project that promotes rational prescribing and exposes the effect of pharmaceutical marketing on prescribing practices, Dr. Fugh-Berman leads a team of volunteer professionals that has had a profound impact on prescribers’ perceptions of the adverse consequences of industry marketing.
Dr. Fugh-Berman has authored many key articles in peer-reviewed literature on the area of physician-industry relationships and conflicts of interest, including an article about how industry uses social psychology to manipulate physicians, an exposé of how ghostwritten articles in the medical literature were used to sell menopausal hormone therapy, an analysis of how “key opinion leaders” are used to market drugs off-label, an explanation of drug rep tactics, a discussion of prescription tracking, a description of industry publication planning, an article on conflicts of interest in basic sciences and a national survey of industry interactions with family medicine residencies. A study in the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions documents the effect of Why Lunch Matters, a presentation that is the first to document a significant change in physicians’ perceptions about their own individual vulnerability to pharmaceutical marketing. Dr. Fugh-Berman lectures internationally and has appeared on every major television network.
Dr. Fugh-Berman is also an expert on botanical medicine and dietary supplements, and directs Georgetown’s Urban Herbs project, which maintains ecological gardens on campus that intermix edible, medicinal, and ornamental plants. She is the author of the 5-Minute Herb and Dietary Supplement Consult.
Previously, Dr. Fugh-Berman was a medical officer in the Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, NIH. She has also worked with the nonprofit Reproductive Toxicology Center and edited an award-winning CME newsletter on women’s health. Dr. Fugh-Berman graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed a family medicine internship in the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx.
Sophie Krensky, Project Manager
Sophie Krensky is the project manager of PharmedOut, a Georgetown University Medical Center project that studies how pharmaceutical marketing influences therapeutic choices. She is a graduate of George Washington University and comes to PharmedOut with a background in public health education and nonprofit management. Most recently, she spent a year with Sacred Valley Health in Peru developing a comprehensive women's health curriculum and training rural community health workers.
Alessandra Hirsch, Project Consultant
Alessandra Hirsch MS is a medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She received her Masters degree from Georgetown University's Special Masters Program in Physiology and Biophysics and enjoys her continued work with PharmedOut.
During her time at PharmedOut, Alessandra testified at the FDA Patient-Focused Drug Development Public Meeting and the Joint Meeting of the Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee Meeting that considered approval of flibanserin. Her publications include The Drug that Cried Feminism and Modern Day Mengeles.