PharmedOut In The News

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  • Our 2016 Impacts Report on the Promotion of Diabetes Drugs in Washington DC was featured in an interview with Susan Wood in Medscape Today. "We only had about a 15% increase in [diabetes] prevalence, and a 350% increase in costs for diabetes drugs," said Dr. Wood. 

  • Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in an August 17th Chicago Tribune article on pharmaceutical company payments to physicians. She said, "Drug reps do not see physicians unless they are affecting their prescribing, and pharmaceutical companies do not pay physicians unless they are affecting their prescribing."

  • Alkermes continues its aggressive marketing tactics by lobbying drug court judges to make Vivitrol the only drug offered in medication-assisted treatment. On August 3, Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in an NPR story about this strategy, "It would be great if the [FDA] went after this," she says. "I think it does fall under their jurisdiction, but I wouldn't rely on that being enough." 
  • PharmedOut's Hasting's Center piece on the current whereabouts of 'Even the Score' was covered in the National Post and was mentioned in a piece on Healthline. The piece was also described in another Hasting's Center piece about the pharma funding of ADHD patient advocacy groups.

  • Before swallowing a pill, make sure to check up on their adverse effects. Dr. Fugh-Berman is quoted in a Washington Post article about how doctors often fail to mention side effects to patients before prescribing a drug.

  • If you are tired of hearing the long list of side effects at the end of a drug commercial, you can check out this DailyMail article about how the FDA is working to change drug ads. "Drug companies should not be choosing which side effects to list," Fugh-Berman says. "That's why ads for erectile dysfunction say 'may cause four-hour erection', because that doesn't sound too bad to guys! Unlike other side effects such as heart attack." 

  • Paul Basken covered Lisa Cosgrove's presentation at the PharmedOut conference in the Chronicle of Higher Education. If you missed Paul Basken's last article on the 10-year retrospective of PharmedOut, you can read it here.

  • "The List" – a list of more than 100 health experts who are free of industry conflicts – was featured on HealthNewsReview and on the Health News Watchdog Podcast. The List was started in 2007 by Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee; the team now includes Gary Schwitzer and Adriane Fugh-Berman. Designed to help reporters and government committees identify and contact unconflicted, unbiased experts instead of using experts provided by industry. The List is an important resource. Are you an expert in a health-related field who qualifies for The List? To find out how you can be added to 'The List', visit HealthNewsReview.

  • Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in a Yahoo News article about the aggressive marketing tactics of Alkermes to position Vivitrol inappropriately as the first line drug for opioid use disorder. “Vivitrol was not doing very well in the market until they came up with this strategy of targeting judges and lawmakers,” said Dr. Fugh-Berman. 

  • Although patients like drug coupons to reduce their out-of-pocket costs for expensive medications, payers end up being soaked for the costs. Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in a MarketWatch article about the strategies insurance companies are beginning to implement to reduce drug spending. 
  • On June 14th, the "A's" (Alycia Hogenmiller, Alessandra Hirsch, and Adriane Fugh-Berman) published a new piece in Bioethics Forum about the status of the sham consumer campaign "Even the Score", devised by industry to sell Addyi (flibanserin), or more commonly known as 'the female Viagra'. The piece was covered in Bioedge and the London Free Press

  • On June 20th, the Chronicle of Higher Education covered the 10 year history of PharmedOut in an interview with Dr. Fugh-Berman. Asked about the future, Dr. Fugh-Berman said, "I’m hoping that 10 years from now there will be no pharmaceutical company or medical-device manufacturer or biotech manufacturer funding any medical education."

  • Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in an NPR article on the state lobbying efforts of Alkermes, to position Vivitrol as the drug of choice for medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction – while denigrating proven treatments methadone and buprenorphine. 

  • The new promotional items from pharmaceutical companies are tablets and TVs in your doctor's office that are paid for by industry. Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in a Forbes article about how office tech is used for marketing.

  • On June 18, Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in an Atlantic story about increasing healthcare and drug costs. “Co-pay programs are meant to mitigate criticism of high drug prices, deflect legislation on drug pricing, get around payer restrictions and get patients on expensive drugs they will stay on for a long time."

  • Should TV ads list fewer side effects of drugs? Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in a Stat news article
  • On May 3, Dr. Fugh-Berman was featured in a BBC World Service broadcast about testosterone. Listen to the feature here

  • You know about the famous purple pill, but do you know about what adverse effects it may cause? Dr. Fugh-Berman talked about how heartburn morphed to gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) to sell proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in an ABC10 video and story.

  • Do you find things funny when others don't? When you start crying, to you find it difficult to stop? Do you sometimes have a funny thought out of the blue? Then you might have Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA). But don't worry – drugs can help you! Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in a Kaiser Health News article about PBA and how the disease is being marketed to sell Nuedexta (and it's working).

  • On May 5, PharmedOut project manager Alycia Hogenmiller and DCRx project manager Joy Eckert presented findings of the 2016 Impacts of Pharmaceutical Marketing Report on Diabetes in the District of Columbia at Lown's 5th annual conference. 
  • Come one, come all to read our just-released AccessRx report on the Impacts of Pharmaceutical Marketing Report on Diabetes in the District of Columbia, available at the DC Department of Health website

  • On April 6, Adriane Fugh-Berman and Nick Mendola testified at the FDA Public Meeting on Patient-Focused Drug Development for Sarcopenia. Both argue that age-related muscle mass loss is not a disease that needs drug treatment, but a normal condition best treated with exercise. The transcript is available here. Dr. Fugh-Berman's testimony starts on page 117 and Nick Mendola's testimony starts on page 122. The meeting was covered in Congressional Quarterly's Roll Call by Andrew Siddons.

  • On April 5, Dr. Fugh-Berman participated in a POLITICO panel on Trump's FDA, discussing the future of drug regulation, "real-world data", and surrogate markers. Video of the panel is available here.

  • On April 14, Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in International Business Times about President Trump's pick as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (or more commonly called the nation's "drug czar.") Representative Tom Marino (R-PA) has previously endorsed policy that made it more difficult for DEA agents to go after opioid distributors. “Rep. Marino has made it very clear he is on the side of opioid manufacturers,” said Dr. Fugh-Berman.

  • In an innovative legal manuveur, the Cherokee nation is suing opioid manufacturers and pharmacies in tribal court. Dr. Fugh-Berman spoke with KAZU 90.3 about the suit. "Legal action is one of the only effective measures we have against pharmaceutical companies and distributors. Companies don't like lawsuits. It's a great way to get information into the public domain," she told the radio station.
  • On April 5, Dr. Fugh-Berman will be on a POLITICO's Pro Health Care Briefing Panel on "Drug Safety and the Trump FDA" in Washington, DC. You can register for the event here.

  • If you are in Washington DC on April 22nd, walk with PharmedOut at the March for Science! We'll meet for breakfast downtown at 8:00am and then walk or Metro to the starting point at 9:00. We plan to make signs supporting science and evidence-based medicine the week before. If you'd like to march with us – or make signs the week before – please email PharmedOut's project manager, Alycia, at and we will send you details for the 22nd. If you won't be in DC, see if there is a sister march in your city.

  • On March 29, Senator McCaskill (D-MO) announced an investigation in opioid manufacturer. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be asking for marketing materials from opioid manufacturers, including both direct-to-consumer and physician marketing. The letter sent to Purdue Pharma, Johnson and Johnson, Insys, Mylan, and Depomed references PharmedOut's not-yet-published study on the use of continuing medical education to promote fentanyl for breakthrough pain.

  • Want to fill up your feed with PharmedOut #tbt and smiling interns? Check out our brand new instagram page!

  • PharmedOut's 2016 Annual Report is now available. 2016 will be a hard act to follow – we published seven articles and created nine CME courses.

  • Conference planning is well under way – it's the must-attend event of 2017! See below for our photo collage of past conferences.
  • On February 2nd, Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in a Buzzfeed story on companies increasing the price of naloxone (a lifesaving drug used to reverse an opioid overdose) to $4,100 by packaging it in a talking, easy-to-use device.
  • On February 2nd, Dr. Fugh-Berman was quoted in a Buzzfeed story on companies increasing the price of naloxone (a lifesaving drug used to reverse an opioid overdose) to $4,100 by packaging it in a talking, easy-to-use device.

  • On January 18, "Pharmacist-industry relationships" was published in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice. The paper was written by Keene Saavedra, a former PharmedOut intern, as well as Bonnie O'Connor, and Adriane Fugh-Berman. This paper is the first enthographic paper that examines the relationships between pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies from pharmacists' perspectives. If you have trouble accessing the paper through your local library, please let us know.

  • Dr. Fugh-Berman's FDA testimony was quoted in "Off-Label Drug Use Debate" in Healthline News.