For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2003

Annual Law-Medicine Symposium Examines
"Do Drug Companies Influence Medical Practice? Legal and Ethical Issues"

DAYTON, OHIO -- "Do Drug Companies Influence Medical Practice? Legal and Ethical Issues" will be the topic of the 13th Annual Law & Medicine Symposium on Wednesday, January 29, 2003, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Berry Room of the Ervin J. Nutter Center, at Wright State University.

The annual Law-Medicine Symposium is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is encouraged. To pre-register or for more information, contact Wright State's Office of Geriatric Medicine at (937) 775-3392.

The Law-Medicine Symposium is presented annually by the University of Dayton School of Law and the Wright State University School of Medicine. It is endowed by Gregory C. Gibson Co., L.P.A.

This program will use a hypothetical case to facilitate an honest, energetic discussion about the legal and ethical aspects of the pharmaceutical industry's mounting influence on the shape of medical education and practice. A panel of expert participants representing a broad range of professional and personal perspectives, experiences, and viewpoints will assemble for the discussion. There will be many opportunities for audience participation in the dialogue.

The pharmaceutical industry uses direct marketing interactions with physicians, nurses, and medical educators. Through financial sponsorship of professional educational activities, support of clinical research, and advertising of products directly to patients in the popular media, in addition to other means, drug companies are exerting an ever-increasing influence on the everyday delivery of medical services.

A variety of professional organizations and commentators, as well as the pharmaceutical industry itself, have lately begun to recognize and react to the significant legal, ethical, and economic ramifications of relationships between drug companies and health care providers. Position statements on this specific topic recently have been adopted, for example, by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Important medical-legal questions that thus far have gone essentially unexplored include: what patients should be told about drug company influence on prescribing patterns as part of the informed consent process; the impact of drug company-sponsored educational programs and materials on the setting of legally enforceable standards of care, and the legal complications of responding to patents' requests for products for which they have seen an advertisement.

The University of Dayton School of Law has accredited this program for two credit hours of Continuing Legal Education. Wright State University School of Medicine, accredited by the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACME), designates this activity as meeting the criteria for two credit hours of Category 1 of the physician's recognition award of the American Medical Association.