The Federation of State Medical
Boards Research and Education Foundation (FSMB) announced the launch of a new Web-based tool providing U.S. physicians with access to accredited educational programs about pharmaceutical industry marketing techniques and their effect on prescribing practices.
The portal is funded by a grant from the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program, which was created as part of a 2004 consumer protection settlement with Warner-Lambert, a division of Pfizer, Inc., that resolved allegations of deceptive "off-label" marketing of the drug
Neurontin. The national program is designed to educate health
care professionals about pharmaceutical industry marketing practices and provide tools for accessing unbiased sources of information about drugs
As a program grantee, the FSMB Foundation has developed and implemented a Web-based portal - the Online Prescriber Education Network (OPEN). The portal provides physicians access to free continuing medical education courses developed by other program grantees, which include medical schools, hospitals, health insurers and professional associations. The FSMB Foundation is working in partnership with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to provide accreditation for educational programs developed by grant recipients.
"The FSMB, in partnership with its 70 member medical boards, is in a unique position to help disseminate unbiased information about prescription medications and appropriate prescribing to the nation`s 750,000 licensed physicians," said Lisa Robin, senior vice president of Member Services for the FSMB. "The OPEN portal will provide access to curricula and other resources to help physicians become more effective prescribers." First Educational Modules Available
The first educational modules available via the OPEN portal were developed by PharmedOut, a project facilitated by physicians at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). The two modules, Drug Approval in the U.S.: How Drugs Get to Market and Generic Drugs: Prescribing Sensibly,
provide a brief history of the Food and Drug Administration, requirements regarding new drug approvals and information on how generic drugs are tested and approved. The courses http://www.fsmb.org are available at no charge at http://www.fsmb.org/re/open/modules.html and may be taken separatelyfor one CME credit each.*
"We want to educate doctors about the fact that generic drugs are held to exactly the same standard as different batches of branded drugs," said Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., director of PharmedOut and associate professor of Physiology and Biophysics at GUMC.
Although pharmaceutical sales representatives may misinform doctors that generic drugs may contain 20 percent less drug than brand-name medications, said Dr. Fugh-Berman, different batches of drugs may differ slightly in potency, but allowable variability never approaches 20 percent.
"Doctors want to take the best care of their patients, but misinformation from drug reps can interfere with good medicine," said Dr. Fugh-Berman. "We want to prevent doctors from increasing the dose of generics to compensate for their supposedly weaker effect, a practice that increases the risk of adverse medication effects." More Modules in Development
Additional accredited modules from grant recipients will be distributed via the OPEN portal as they are completed. The courses are available at no cost to all licensed medical prescribers in the nation and may be taken for continuing medical education credit.
In addition, the portal will provide access to relevant state and federal statutes, unbiased databases of information about the safety and efficacy of prescription medications, reporting mechanisms for adverse events related to medications and tools and strategies for evidence-based prescribing.
The FSMB Research and Education Foundation undertakes educational and scientific research projects designed to expand public and medical professional knowledge and awareness of challenges impacting health care and health care regulation. The Foundation makes the results of its research available to the public and provides educational forums for further dialogue leading to the promotion of high standards for the safety and welfare of the public.
*This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas & Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Federation of State Medical Boards Research and Education Foundation. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The Federation of State Medical Boards
(FSMB) is a national not-for-profit organization representing the 70 medical boards of the United States and its territories. The FSMB`s mission is to continuously improve the quality, safety and integrity of health care by developing and promoting high standards for physician licensure and practice. Visit the FSMB`s website at http://www.fsmb.org.
Federation of State Medical Boards
View drug information on Neurontin.