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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

PhRMA Intern Proves "No Strings Attached" to Pharma-Sponsored CME!

Yes! It's PhRMA Intern!

In the last episode of PhRMA Intern, the intrepid Washington, DC visitor from an Ivy League school, disguised as mild-manner Emily Jameson, summer intern at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, helped the industry get a sneak preview of the movie SiCKO (see "PhRMA Intern Makes Movie Mogul an Offer He Can't Refuse!").

In that episode, PhRMA Intern exhibited her dark side and fans wondered if she would continue to employ those powers over all others in her never ending battle for believability, justice for pharmaceutical companies, and the PhRMA way. Or would she develop new and more subtle means of persuasion?

The answer may be found in this episode:

PhRMA Intern and the No-Strings-Attached CME Proof!

Emily, as she has been instructed to do by her boss Ken Johnson, PhRMA SVP, scans the morning papers every morning.

While reading her copy of the New York Times recently, Emily noticed an op-ed piece by Daniel Carlat, a professor at Tufts Medical School and editor in chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report. The piece was entitled "Diagnosis: Conflict of Interest."

Emily remembered that Ken told her during orientation that PhRMA's Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals assures that there are "no strings attached" to pharmaceutical company sponsored CME.

What Emily did not realize, however, was that Ken was already preparing a devasting "letter to the editor" of the NY Times in response to Dr. Carlat's OpEd piece. Here's Ken's letter:
"Daniel Carlat is simply wrong when he questions the educational value of continuing medical education programs supported by America’s pharmaceutical research companies.

"Our voluntary marketing code for members states explicitly that when pharmaceutical research companies provide financial support for medical conferences, control over selection of content, faculty, educational methods, materials and venue belongs to accredited conference organizers and not the companies.

"The Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals helps to ensure that pharmaceutical companies can help health care providers receive valuable information about available medicines — with no strings attached. And there is no reason to believe that independent program organizers are jeopardizing their reputations or compromising their medical judgments because pharmaceutical companies have provided financing for continuing medical
education seminars." (See "New York Times Publishes Letters in Response to My Op-ed" over at The Carlat Psychiatry Blog.)

Emily had a different idea for proving the "no strings attached" argument.

AS SHE HAS DONE OFTEN IN THE PAST, EMILY RUSHED INTO THE OFFICE OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO CHANGE INTO HER ALTER EGO...

PhRMA Intern! Who can change the course of mighty news stories, bend the truth at will, and who disguised as Emily Jameson (no relation to Jenna Jameson), mild-mannered intern for a great pharmaceutical trade association, fights a never ending battle for ... yadda, yadda, yadda.

ZOOMING THROUGH THE SKY AT 10 TIMES THE SPEED OF SOUND, PhRMA Intern SOON REACHES HER DESTINATION.


AFTER A FEW DAYS INTENSIVE TRAINING WITH CRISS ANGEL, THE NOTED STREET MAGICIAN, PhRMA INTERN IS READY TO DEMONSTRATE THE PROOF!

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