Journalism Grants

Funding For:

Pharmanipulation: Battling Drug Industry Influence

Cost & Quality / Prescription Drugs


PharmedOut, Georgetown University Medical Center

Grant Period:

Jan 01, 2023 - Dec 31, 2024



Summary of the Project:

The project will examine the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on what consumers and health care providers believe about medicine and health.

About the Grantee:

PharmedOut is a Georgetown University Medical Center project that advances evidence-based prescribing and educates health care professionals and students about pharmaceutical and medical device marketing practices.

Related Grantee Work

January 5, 2023

Episode 1 - "Unlocking Pharma's Secrets"

In Episode 1, PharmedOut introduces their new show called Pharmanipulation. The show will focus on pharmaceutical marketing tactics, industry influence on medical knowledge, and invented diseases. Join hosts Caroline Renko and Patricia Bencivenga as they interview Adriane Fugh-Berman MD, the Director of PharmedOut.

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February 15, 2023

Episode 2 - "Here Comes the Sun(screen): Myths about Melanoma"

Pharmanipulation invites Adewole S. Adamson MD, MPP, to discuss the relationship of sun exposure to melanoma, whether sunscreen actually prevents skin cancer, and the overdiagnosis of melanoma.

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March 29, 2023

Episode 3 – “Paying Attention to ADHD: Diagnosis and Treatment in Children”

Pharmanipulation invites Gretchen LeFever Watson PhD and Robert Whitaker to question diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and to critique drug treatment of behaviors associated with ADHD.

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May 26, 2023

Episode 4 – “How Do We Know We are Sick? Culture, Disease and Illness”

Pharmanipulation invites medical anthropologist Sylvia Önder PhD and cultural psychologist Yulia Chentsova Dutton PhD to discuss the differences among disease, sickness and illness and explore the concepts of invented diseases, folk illnesses, and the social value of certain diseases.

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July 11, 2023

Episode 5 - “Under the Knife and Over it”

Pharmanipulation invites Tony Scialli MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist and reproductive toxicologist, to talk about the overuse of gynecologic surgeries – namely hysterectomies and Cesarean sections.

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December 2023

Episode 7 - "Rethinking mild cognitive impairment and dementia" with Dr. Peter Whitehouse and Dr. Lon Schneider

Pharmanipulation invites Peter Whitehouse MD, PhD and Lon Schneider MD, MS to explore dementia and mild cognitive impairment. The discussion focuses on the medicalization of normal aging, the overdiagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, problems with new drugs and tests for Alzheimer’s disease, and how to prevent dementia.

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March 6, 2024

Episode 8 - "The First One's Free and Then You're Hooked: The Problem with Free Drug Samples"

Pharmanipulation invites Dr. Shahram Ahari, an emergency medicine physician and former drug rep, to explore the world of pharmaceutical samples. The discussion focuses on why samples are the most important marketing tactic drug companies have, how samples are used to manipulate prescribing choices, and whether or not drug samples should be banned.

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