Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Med Student Activism Pays Off

Thanks to the Prescription Project weekly update(see links) for this item: Medical student activism at the University of Missouri-Kansas City school has had two important outcomes. First, a local medical center, Truman Medical Center-Lakewood, was voted by its staff to go pharm-free. Many of the faculty first thought that the only way to train the medical students there for the "real world" was to allow interactions with drug reps and then teach them the skills to critique what they heard; but the faculty came to realize that the information was so biased that it was better simply to teach the students to forgo the contact completely.

Second, the activities of the students and staff came to the attention of Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Aging. Its chair, Sen. Herb Kohl, is championing a national bill that would require that all payments from drug companies to physicians be reported. Sen. McCaskill is actively supporting this bill and expressed her pride in the UMKC students who had taken the initiative on this issue.

See, students-- you can make a difference! Keep up the good work.

Houx K. Medical groups, state senator seek drug company disclosures. Kansas City Community News, Sept. 5, 2007;

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