Career Development : Calendar

San Francisco chapter - Conflict of interest in health care: How to spot it, what to do about it

05/08/07     San Francisco, CA

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.

Where: The London Wine Bar (downstairs room)
415 Sansome Street (between Sacramento and Clay) in San Francisco
When: Tuesday, May 8, 6 - 8 p.m. Panel starts at 6:30 pm
No host bar/menu.

Please R.S.V.P by Friday, May 4, to because seating is limited.

Our panelists:
Lisa Bero, Ph.D., is a professor of health policy and clinical pharmacy at University of California at San Francisco. She researches conflict-of-interest and industry influence on research and clinical practice. She is also the co-director of the U.S.Cochrane Center at the University of California at San Francisco. Among her investigations, she and her colleagues have documented the practice by drug companies of sponsoring clinical trials with built-in design flaws that skew findings in order to show favorable results.

Rob Waters is a health reporter for Bloomberg News. He reports on psychiatric drugs and mental health, among other topics. Before joining Bloomberg in Jan. 2006, he covered health, mental health, and child and family issues for Mother Jones, Health, Parenting,San Francisco magazine, and many other publications.His investigative report in Mother Jones, "Medicating Aliah," showed how pharmaceutical industry influence over state officials in Texas and other states fueled the prescribing of anti-psychotic medications to children. It won the 2006 Casey Award for best magazine journalism.

Laurie Udesky is an independent health reporter whose articles on health and public policy have appeared in The Lancet,, San Francisco Chronicle magazine, among other news outlets and she has won national and regional awards for her work. She recently reported on the HPV vaccine controversy for The Lancet.

If you have questions about this event, want to RSVP, or want to know more about AHCJ, call or e-mail Colleen Paretty, chair, AHCJ Bay Area Chapter, at or 510-703-1816.