First Pharmfree Day launched
- By: Raghav Chawla
The first nationwide Pharmfree Day has been launched by The American Medical Student Association on 8 December 2004.
Doctors and students joined together on more than 34 campuses, urging their peers to resist aggressive marketing efforts by pharmaceutical companies. “Prescribing should be based on clinical evidence not on marketing strategies,” Brian Palmer, president of the association, told the studentBMJ.
An event was held at New York University with speakers such as Gene Carbona, former regional manager for Merck, and Bob Goodman, founder of No Free Lunch, an organisation of healthcare providers devoted to combating the influence of pharmaceutical promotion on clinical practice.
Dr Carbona said Merck paid doctors up to $20 000 (£10 404; a15 062) for holding a speech designed to promote its drugs. “Just think about how you would feel if your patient asked you, ‘Did you put me on Vioxx [rofecoxib] because you speak for Merck?’ ”