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About the Site:

This is the blog for the book Medical Decision Making: A Physician's Guide, by Alan Schwartz and George Bergus (Cambridge University Press, 2008). The book is now available from Cambridge University Press

About the Authors:

Alan Schwartz, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Medical Education and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, where he teaches and conducts research on physician and patient decision making.

George Bergus, M.D., M.A. is the Dr. William and Sondra Myers Family Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and Co-Director of the Family Practice/Psychiatry Residency program. He holds a Certificate of Additional Qualification in Geriatrics.

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FLIP on pharmaceuticals

September 28th, 2007 by Alan Schwartz

The November 2007 issue of Consumer Reports features an article entitled “Treatment traps to avoid.” The article focuses on unnecessary and overused health care treatments (in the United States). One major emphasis of the report is the emphasis on the approval of new drugs and the marketing process for drugs in the U.S. in general, which includes both substantial direct-to-consumer marketing (illegal everywhere else in the world except for New Zealand), and extensive marketing to physicians — for both on-label and off-label uses — by means of gifts, samples, meals, and reprints of research sponsored by the manufacturers. Research frequently establishes a drug’s efficacy vs. placebo, but more rarely compares new drugs with the established standard of care and demonstrates incremental effectiveness, much less incremental cost-effectiveness.

As a result of a $430 million settlement between drug manufacturer Warner-Lambert and the U.S. government, several projects have been funded to study and address issues in the marketing of pharmaceuticals. One such project, Formulary Leveraged Improved Prescribing (FLIP) is centered across the street from my office, and is a joint effort between the University of Illinois at Chicago and the John H. Stroger, Jr., Hospital of Cook County.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Beyond the individual | 3 Comments »

Off to the publisher

September 4th, 2007 by Alan Schwartz

Today I transmitted the manuscript for Making Medical Decisions to Cambridge University Press, our publisher. Of course, there’s still copyediting and all sorts of other work to be done before it appears in the bookstores. When a production schedule has been worked out, I’ll update the readers here.

Posted in Blog, Book news | No Comments »