5 Blogs with critical view on drugs and drug companies

1. Cochrane Adverse Effects Methods Group: had their first workshop on Friday 26 October 2007 during the XV Cochrane Colloquium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
This workgroup was formally registered with The Cochrane Collaboration on the 14th June 2007.

The main purposes of the group are;
• to raise awareness of the adverse effects of interventions, and to promote the inclusion of adverse effects data in Cochrane reviews;
• to provide educational help to reviewers and users of reviews to spread and deepen understanding of the principles involved in assessing adverse effects;
• to provide methodological guidance on specific aspects of evaluating adverse effects;
• to identify areas of methodological uncertainty, and to develop a toolbox for the assessment of adverse effects.

They welcome your active (or passive) involvement. Fill in the form to join their group.

2. Pharmalot, News Comment and Conversation.
This blog is writen by Ed Silverman.

Ed Silverman is a prize-winning journalist who has covered the pharmaceutical industry for The Star-Ledger of New Jersey, one of the nation’s largest daily newspapers, for the past 12 years. During that time, he has closely followed a variety of topics of concern to those who work for, and with, pharmaceutical manufacturers — drug development; mergers and acquisitions; regulatory oversight; safety and pricing controversies, and marketing issues.

Especially check out this article about the FDA approving a new med guide for antidepressants that dilute the power and clarity of the warnings contained in the old med guides, and as such, deny parents information that is vital to the safety of their children.

3. Eye on FDA
Eye on FDA is published by Mark Senak of Fleishman-Hillard’s Washington, D.C. office.

Frequent speaker on various aspects of same – drug development, promotion, reimbursement and new media in a highly regulated environment. Author of books, newspaper and magazine pieces related to drug marketing and promotion as well as HIV specialty pieces. And of course… blogger!

4. Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma.

A recently started blog by Howard Brody, MD, PhD (Rowman and Littlefield, January, 2007).
A lot of articles with critical commentary related to the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry.

5. peRX.

The peRx Project is an educational program funded by the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program. The program was developed to improve awareness of drug development and pharmaceutical marketing practices and to positively impact prescribing behaviors, specifically among advanced practice nurses. An innovative, multi-media, interactive web-based pharmaceutical curriculum has been developed that targets advance practice nurse students and other clinician audiences.

On their website there is a series of 4 web based modules. The modules are presented in an informative, engaging and entertaining format that cover topic areas of:
1. FDA drug approval process
2. Pharmaceutical marketing strategies commonly found in health care practice i.e., gifts, free meals, continuing education programs
3. Ethical dimensions of pharmaceutical industry influence on prescribing practices of health care providers
4. Strategies to improve prescribing based on scientific evidence rather than market based information and promotions

I especially enjoyed their second module: There’s no such thing as a free lunch…or dinner, a nice few in the trick box of drug companies

From ISDB: International Society of Drug Bulletins