This one-credit course draws on current debates about ethical practice within the pharmaceutical industry with an eye toward wider questions about the relationship between science, commerce, politics, and public policy, particularly within healthcare.
Major topics include: A perceived “ethics problem” within the pharmaceutical industry, current debates about the FDA and drug safety, statutes shielding drug companies from civil liability (lawsuits), “off-label” promotion (marketing for uses not FDA-approved), direct-to consumer advertising, direct-to-physician advertising (e.g., “drug reps,” etc.), industry-funded research and publications in medical journals, and the role of consumer advocacy as responses to perceived problems.
The course will include brief video excerpts and guest speakers, including representatives from industry, medicine, and business journalism.
Students who want to explore these issues in greater depth (and receive 3 credits in total) may consider also taking RCIDIV 351.001: “Research Seminar on Ethics, Politics, and the Pharmaceutical Industry.” The research seminar supplements the mini-course for interested students, but it is perfectly fine to take only the mini-course. Only the research seminar (351) requires “instructor’s permission.” This course, 350, does not.
Requirements include attending class meetings and completing a series of one-page assignments.
Only the research seminar (RCIDIV 351) requires “instructor’s permission.” This course, RCIDIV 350, does not.
The course runs for six weekly two-hour sessions beginning on 3/11/14