According to the New York Times med students from the AMSA are up in arms over pharma influence in the curriculum at Harvard. It seems a prof in the first year pharmacology course who was a paid consultant to companies which make cholesterol drugs spoke positively about the drugs and minimized their side effects. Well, “cholesterol drugs”, statin drugs anyway, are very beneficial and their adverse effects are minimal. Few would question such a pronouncement from an “unconflicted” and less expert teacher.
In all too typical sloppy reporting the Times didn’t bother to tell us specifically what was objectionable, inaccurate or biased about the lecture content. (It’s hard to see how product bias could creep into first year pharm to any significant degree given that it’s largely about receptors, structure-activity relationships, distribution, elimination and the like).
AMSA rates med schools on their COI policies and recently gave Harvard an F for its industry affiliations. Ironically, they’re not nearly as concerned about the infiltration of non-evidence based woo in medical school curricula. Well, of course they wouldn’t be concerned about that. They promote it.
Via Billy Rubin’s Blog