The Pharmaceutical Industry and Health Professionals

Course code EPID6670Units 10Level 6000Faculty of Health and MedicineSchool of Medicine and Public Health

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 available in 2015

ObjectivesBy the end of the course students will have a thorough up-to-date understanding of the many forms of industry-professional interactions, examples of those interactions, the results of studies that have examined the consequences of these interactions for practice, and the global contemporary debates about the nature and extent of these interactions. The course will also provide students with an understanding of recent policy developments relevant to these interactions, as changing regulatory regimes, both self-regulatory and statutory, impact on how they are governed.
ContentThe 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
Replacing Course(s)Not applicable
TransitionNot applicable
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeThe 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.
Modes of DeliveryDistance Learning : IT Based
Distance Learning : Paper Based
Flexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Teaching MethodsCase Study
Email Discussion Group
Problem Based Learning
Field Study
Self Directed Learning
Student Projects
Assessment Items
Essays / Written Assignments
Group/tutorial participation and contribution
Presentations - Class
Contact HoursTutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Self Directed Learning: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Lecture: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Email Discussion Group: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Student Projects: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term