our current projects
The following are some of the projects that the National Committee are currently working on. If you are a PharmAware branch then there are really simple ways that you can help us and get involved.
1) drug promotion survey
How much do you think you are influenced by the pharmaceutical industry as a medical student? You may think that since you don't yet prescribe to patients that you are immune from the reach of drug reps. Yet we are increasingly seeing the presence of drug reps on wards or at medical teaching, meaning that students are not removed from this influence.
So do you feel you have the know-how to deal with drug reps, and are you even aware that they do influence you? Mirroring a similar study in the US, we aim to survey medical students from across the UK to see the situation in different parts of the country in tackling this issue.
We have a number of universities already going in the process of approving this project, but if you would like to get involved then email or get in contact through this website. See the findings of the American study found here.
3) bad guidelines
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) released in March
2012 a set of guidelines on 'Collaboration between healthcare professionals and the pharmaceutical industry'. It aimed to outline some of the misconceptions about the industry and outline the 'Dos and Don'ts' of collaboration.
Yet there were many parts of this document that we believe to be very misleading. Even more worrying are the organisations who have signed off on these guidelines. Over the next couple of months we hope to do something about this so keep a look out for more on this issue soon!
Click on the image above to view the guidelines for yourself.
In collaboration with several organisations, such as MedAct, Conflict Free Conferences, Healthy Skepticism UK and Dr Ben Goladcare we are part of the Bad Guidelines Campaign to ask the signatories of the document to remove their logo and retract their support. You can keep track of what goes on at www.badguidelines.org; The Lancet has already retracted their support. Who will be next?
2) Evidence-based medicine and global health
For one reason or another, evidence-based medicine has a bad name in medical education.
The question is, what can we do about it? The solution starts with getting people more people enthused about it, and helping it to be better understood in medical curricula. This project is a long term goal, so keep a check on our thoughts on it.
We recently wrote a blog for MedsinUK on this problem, which you can read here.
4) conflict free conferences
One key issue that we are campaigning against is the influence exerted on medical students and doctors by sponsored events and lunches. This is also done at conferences and postgraduate education events.
We believe that there should be a way to gain accreditation for programmes run without sponsorship from industry.
Conflict Free Conferences is a new project devised by Tom Yates and Carl Reynolds from UCL, that aims to provide CPD accreditation to medical education events.
The project is in its early phases, but you can find out more information by going to www.conflictfreeconferences.com.
If you organise medical education or conferences that do not have any industry ties, get in contact to see how you can get accredited.