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  • Why I'm Opting Out of the AMA Masterfile

    It’s hard for me to believe that I’ll have the privilege of calling myself someone’s doctor in a few short months. As a graduating medical student, I look back on my education and see that it was driven by a spark shared by all in all AMSA members: the fervent hope to help my future patients. And it’s precisely this hope that drives me to pledge to opt out of drug company access to my future prescribing information. I urge you to join me.

    When I started medical school, I had no idea that pharmaceutical companies know exactly what medicines each doctor prescribes to his or her patients. I was even more surprised to learn that this capacity is enabled by the American Medical Association through the sale of a database called the “Masterfile.” All medical students and doctors are automatically enrolled in the Masterfile—regardless of whether or not we are AMA members. Each year, the AMA makes more than $40 million selling this information, which allows pharmaceutical companies to link prescribing records to doctors’ identities. The result is targeted marketing pitches, often designed to promote more expensive medicines that aren't necessarily more effective. 

    The spooky nature of being watched by ...

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  • Release of AMSA PharmFree Scorecard!

    Tomorrow is the launch of the 2013 AMSA PharmFree Scorecard! Join us in person or via Webcast. This would be a great chapter event!

    April 9, 2013: Launch of the 2013 AMSA PharmFree Scorecard 12-1pm (EST)
    Join National Physicians Alliance & AMSA Online Webcast or Live In-Person
    The AMSA Scorecard: The State of Medical School Conflict-of-Interest Policies and Cultivating a New Era of Effective Change

    Georgetown University Medical Center, Med-Dental Building, Room SW107,
    3900 Reservoir Road, NWSE408, Washington, DC 20057

    Speakers:

    Reshma Ramachandran, PharmFree Fellow
    American Medical Student Association

    Daniel Carlat, MD
    Director of the Pew Prescription Project

    RSVP to attend this live event in-person

    or
    Register to participate in this live online webcast

    This event offered as part of the Partnership to Advance Conflict-free Medical Education. This partnership and related materials were made possible by a grant from the state Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program which is funded by the multi-state settlement of consumer fraud claims regarding the marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin. Learn more at www.npalliance.org/conflict-free.

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  • Graduating Medical Students Tell the AMA, “I’m Opting Out”

    On Wednesday, April 10, graduating medical students will tell the American Medical Association (AMA) that they are opting out of the AMA Physician Masterfile and that they do not want their personal and prescribing information sold to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. National Opt Out Day, sponsored by the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), hopes to rally hundreds of fourth year medical students.

    The AMA Physician Masterfile was established by the AMA in 1906 as a record keeping device supporting membership and mailing activities. The Physician Masterfile includes current and historical data for more than 1.4 million physicians, residents and medical students in the United States. Today, sales of the AMA Physician Masterfile totals more than $40 million per year and over 20 percent of their annual revenue.

    “The AMA should not be selling this data to pharmaceutical and medical device companies for the purpose of tracking physicians’ prescribing habits to devise directed marketing strategies,” Reshma Ramachandran, AMSA PharmFree Fellow. “Information from the AMA Physician Masterfile should only be used for research purposes to benefit our patients.”

    “We want our members – the nation’s future physicians – to understand what this information is being used for so they ...

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AMSA On Call is the official blog of the American Medical Student Association. Join us as we discuss the hottest issues in health care. 

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