The tendency for the younger generation of physicians and trainees to take a stronger stance than their elders against undue influence from the drug industry is typified by the fact that AMSA, the American Medical Student Association, is the only national medical organization to call for a "pharm free" approach to medicine. Now AMSA has been joined by the resident and student congresses of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
Meeting August 2-4. the congresses encouraged more study of the results of pharmaceutical company interactions with family physicians; and the residents called for the AAFP to explore more ways to fund its annual conferences without pharmaceutical funding and commit to a pharm-free conference by 2012.
Comment: As a long-time AAFP member I applaud this action by the students and residents. I am about to attend what is strangely my first AAFP annual scientific assembly, in Chicago in October, where I am supposed to participate in two panels on the role of the pharmaceutical industry. The rumor mill has always held that the exhibit hall at AAFP is one of the most extreme displays of commercialism at any medical organization meeting, though reportedly there have been serious efforts to rein in the excesses in more recent years. I hope to have a report following the meeting.
Champlin L, Porter S. Residents, students wrestle with health system reform, other issues. AAFP News Now, Aug. 10, 2007;