The Pharmaceutical Industry and Health Professionals

Course code EPID6670
Not available in 2016


The course will introduce students to the burgeoning evidence, and vigorous contemporary global debates, about the nature and impacts of interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and health professionals. It will combine multi-media material, real world case studies and scientific evidence, producing a lively and engaging educational experience.


Not currently available.


The current version of the course content contains the following 10 elements and will be developed into the module format used for other EPID courses.

  1. Introduction to the pharmaceutical industry: size, structure, marketing, R&D, importance and influence.
  2. Sales representatives and health professionals: evidence about reliability of information, gifts, nature of relationship, academic detailing
  3. Medical education and industry sponsorship: CME, scientific conferences, medical meetings , medical education companies
  4. Sponsored research and clinical trials: systematic review evidence about sponsored trials, trial registers, publication bias
  5. Key Opinion Leaders and industry: Company advisory boards, KOLs-thought leaders , media spokespeople, speakers bureaux
  6. Medical journals and advertising: publication of sponsored trials, disclosure, advertising, ghost-writing, fake journals, new journals
  7. Disease awareness campaigns : direct-to-consumer advertising, condition branding, disease-mongering, public relations, consumer/advocacy groups
  8. Professional Associations and industry : changing sponsorship relationships with industry
  9. Policy Developments 1, Disclosure : ACCC and the Medicines Australia disclosure regime, United States Congress Sunshine Act
  10. Policy Developments 2, Disentanglement: Universities and new CME policies, hospitals and sales reps, IOM report

Assumed Knowledge

The course will be accessible to post-graduate and undergraduate students. Students will have experience or be undertaking a qualification in a relevant health-related field and will have an understanding of the basic principles of public health.