Can We Trust the Evidence in Evidence Based Medicine? Lessons from a Family Doctor on the Front Lines of PhRMA Litigation
This program starts with a comparison of American healthcare to that of other wealthy countries based on both cost and effectiveness–bottom line:
despite spending about a third more than the other countries based on per person GDP (meaning an extra $1 *trillion* every year), Americans rank 26th in the number of years we live in good health and are losing ground. Next, he discusses the growing commercial influence in the practice of medicine from the late 1970s to present, with particular emphasis on the commercial control of the non-transparent “scientific evidence” that even the best doctors must rely on.
You’ll hear specific instances of biased information that has influenced and continues to influence doctors based on confidential drug company documents that were revealed in litigation (although still poorly understood). The session concludes with suggestions for doctors to optimize their
patient care in the context of inadequate access to the real scientific evidence, and how the system of dissemination of the evidence from clinical
trials can be improved to most benefit patient care.
About Dr. John Abramson:
John Abramson, M.D., has worked as a family doctor in Appalachia with the National Health Service Corps, and for 20 years in Hamilton, Massachusetts. He is on the clinical faculty at Harvard Medical School, where he teaches primary care. He served 7 years as chairperson of the department of family practice at Lahey Clinic. He was twice voted “best doctor” in his area by readers of the local newspapers and three times selected by his peers as one of a handful of best family practitioners in Massachusetts.
While in practice, Dr. Abramson maintained his interest in public health and health care administration by serving on the part-time faculty of the Heller School for Social Research at Brandeis University, and as an Associate Medical Director of a Prudential HMO. Dr. Abramson is the author of the Overdosed America: the Broken Promise of American Medicine, published by HarperCollins in 2004. The book provides detailed arguments on the false conclusions reached from medical research. He explains why those conclusions are distorted and backs up his statements with detailed analyses of the prevailing evidence.
Dr. Abramson replaces the commercially driven medical care with an approach that integrates personal responsibility and the best of medical science. Dr. Abramson has appeared on more than 60 national television shows (including two appearances on the Today Show), written op-ed pieces in the New York Times, and the LA Times, spoken at the Association of Health Care Journalists’ annual meeting in Houston, lectured to Harvard Medical School students and presented to a combined session of the legislature of the state of West Virginia and many more engagements.