Besides this discussion about the conflicts of interest involving Big Pharma and clinical studies and how they are reported, I think it's important for journalism student to get a basic grounding in medical statistics and clinical study design. I think I'll mention this to Jeff Jarvis
who runs the program who is an Associate Professor at the CUNY J-school to see if he agrees.
The e-mail I received this am:
The Association of Health Care Journalists -- Metropolitan New York Chapter invites you to attend a special program on November 5th: CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN HEALTH CARE: HOW TO SPOT IT, WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
The drug industry finances research, conducts clinical trials, and doles out "unrestricted educational grants." But as health journalists, we confront a number of questions: Is there really a difference between marketing and education? How does Big Pharma's gift giving to doctors affect their prescribing habits? Can you tell if pharma-sponsored studies are manipulated? How many of your sources have received honoraria or speaker's fees from the industry? Is it ethical to write about a drug company you invest in? Share an informative evening with your health journalism colleagues. Find out how to unearth potential conflicts of interest when reporting on drug treatments -- and what to do once you've uncovered them.
230 West 41 Street between 7 & 8 Avenues
When: Monday, November 5, 6 to 8 pm
MODERATOR Scott Hensley,Editor, Wall Street Journal Health Blog
Alex Berenson, Business Reporter, New York Times; Author, "The Faithful Spy: A Novel" (Random House, 2006)
Ed Silverman, Editor, Pharmalot A Star Ledger of New Jersey website [No, it's a blog.]
Joanna Breitstein, Executive Editor Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine
Fran Hawthorne, Author "The Merck Druggernaut" (John Wiley & Sons, 2003) "Inside the FDA: The Business and Politics behind the Drugs We Take and the Food We Eat" ( John Wiley & Sons, 2005)