Thursday, May 4, 2006
As from previous posts you may have noticed that I have a small suspicion when it comes to dealing with pharmaceutical companies. A very interesting article in the NY Times about the AMA and Big Pharma coming together to take action (before states do) to limit the physician outrage of data mining companies selling prescribing patterns of individual physicians to pharmaceutical companies. The article states
so the AMA is making an opt-out option. While this does not relate to a specific palliative med issue, it does raise concern about monitoring of prescribing patterns. And for the palliative medicine/hospice physician, there is always this concern/fear that when someone starts monitoring your prescribing patterns that they would see almost exclusive prescriptions of opioids and benzodiazepines along with a small selection of other medications.
77% of physicians are opposed to the release of this information
I was hoping to hear more about this subject when I recently heard Rudy Giuliani speak at the Annual Dinner for the Center for Practical Bioethics. His topic was 'Pain Control' as he is the Chairman of the Rx Action Alliance. Unfortunately his talk seemed to lack preparation and was merely a string of anecdotes, so I came away learning nothing of his leadership in the role of pain control, and prosecution of diversion, despite his experience as a prosecuting attorney and as a victim of prostate cancer. Despite the main talk being disappointing, the night was great because I got to meet so many of the movers and shakers of Ethics and Health Care in the Kansas City area. I would like to do that more often. There were a lot of great intelligent people gathered there.
One thing that was interesting to note is that the 'stakeholders' for the Rx Action Alliance include: Cephalon (makers of Actiq), Novartis and Purdue Pharma (makers of Oxycontin, OxyFast, OxyIR, MS-Contin, and Palladone).
Other blog post about the NY Times article here