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Hey everybody!
  THis is a request from Brian Palmer the AMSA National Treasurer/Mayo Med
Student/U. of MN Public Health Student.  Please respond by tomorrow at 4pm
IF YOU ARE AGAINST THIS IDEA.  SOrry for the short notice.  If I do not
hear back by then, we are going to go ahead and send it.

Take care,
 Celia

 > 2) I'm working to get Boynton to stop their weekly drug lunches.  I'm
meeting
> with SHAC on Thursday to get them to take a stand, and I'd like a letter
of
> support from AMSA.  Stephanie Stanton is on SHAC, so MSS is on board
already.
>  If you would be up for drafting something or asking another AMSA person
to,
> that would be really, really helpful.  It would be *even more* helpful if
I
> had it by Thursday morning.
> 
> I would never tell you what to write, but if you felt pressured by a
> deadline, I would want you to have the following text:  ;-)
> 
> Ed Ellinger, MD, MSPH
> Director and Chief Health Officer
> Boynton Health Service
> University of Minnesota
> 
> Dear Dr. Ellinger,
> 
> As future physicians, the members of the American Medical Student
Association
> take our responsibility for high ethical standards seriously.  As you
know,
> pharmaceutical companies regularly attempt to manipulate physician
> prescribing practices by providing lunches, trips, and other gifts to
> providers and office staff members.  We are very concerned with this
> practice, as it substitutes marketing responses for evidence-based
medical
> practice.  Moreover, it costs our patients money in higher drug costs, as
the
> companies currently spend more on marketing than research.
> 
> The evidence on the matter is compelling.  The prima facie arguement is
quite
> strong: Companies would not provide gift unless they had evidence that
the
> response resulted in better product sales.  But the evidence goes further
> than that.  Articles in JAMA, the Archives of Internal Medicine, and many
> other journals in the past few years have clearly shown that the practice
of
> free lunches and gifts 1) influences prescribing practices, 2) influences
> formulary choices, 3) distributes biased and incomplete information, and
4)
> decreases evidence-based pharmaceutical product selection.  We understand
> that Stephanie Stanton, AMA-MSS president, and Brian Palmer, AMSA
National
> Treasuer have provided you with specific references to support our
claims.
> 
> We are surprised and disappointed that Boynton Health Service has
> institutionalized the practice of pharmaceutical company sponsorship of
CME
> activities.  As medical students, we can certainly appreciate the staff's
> desire to have lunch.  However, as future physicians, we believe it is
> entirely inappropriate and bad for overall patient care to continue the
> practice of accepting lunches and gifts--of any size--from pharmaceutical
> companies. There is, after all, no such thing as a free lunch, and the
price
> paid here is the credibility of physicians, the evidence-based practice
of
> medicine, and the finances of our patients.  As the institution that
trains
> the majority of the state's physicians and other health providers, all
> components of the University of Minnesota have a responsibility to adhere
to
> the highest ethical standards and to be models for students.
> 
> We urge you to discontinue the practice of pharmaceutical company
sponsorship
> of activities and to instead provide opportunities in CME where staff can
> learn of the newest therapeutics in independent, evidence-based ways.  
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> 
> Celia Garner
> President, U of MN AMSA Chapter  
> 
>