Glaxo CME program draws scrutiny

Share this article:
Despite a debate over routine testing of pregnant women for genital herpes, GlaxoSmithKline funded lectures and articles by outside doctors who advocate the practice, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. During the GSK-backed talks, the message doctors heard clearly favors universal screening for genital herpes and treatment of pregnant women who test positive for the virus. GSK’s Valtrex, the top-selling herpes drug, is not approved to prevent neonatal herpes in pregnant women. The article underscores the need for continued industry vigilance in the area of CME needs assessment, said Rich Tischler, PhD, a former accreditation director for ACCME who now runs Viator Medical Communications. “CME is the forum for off-label discussion, as long as the discussion is not controlled by the grantor,” he said. A GSK spokesperson told MM&M the company, “does not control the content or selection of speakers for these programs.” When asked why all of its speakers favor universal screening, the spokesperson said, “That’s something you’d have to ask the CME (providers) themselves.” Some advocates say universal screening could reduce herpes prevalence in infants. But federal health agencies are against it, as is the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, saying there is little benefit but potential risks if women who test positive for the virus start taking herpes drugs such as Valtrex (valacyclovir). Risks range from allergic reactions to hypertension.
Share this article:

Email Newsletters

More in News

AstraZenca beefs up respiratory portfolio

AstraZenca beefs up respiratory portfolio

AstraZeneca has made an $875-million move to beef up its respiratory pipeline by making Almirall's lineup its own.

Amgen Q2 sales rise, company to lay off up to 2,900

Amgen Q2 sales rise, company to lay off ...

The majority of the layoffs will be in the US.

Doctors want to know how CMS plans to display Sunshine payment data

Doctors want to know how CMS plans to ...

Physician and industry trade groups are asking CMS to explain how context will be provided to the general public around the dollar sums drugmakers ascribe to doctors for things like ...