August 12, 2005

Meeting set to probe the issues swirling around drug research

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photo by John Howser

Meeting set to probe the issues swirling around drug research

The lessons of Vioxx, the effects of antidepressants on the fetus and conflicts of interest related to drug-company funding of research will be some of the hot topics discussed at the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology meeting in Nashville Aug. 21-24.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center will report new findings about the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs in children.

Vanderbilt faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the 21st International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

“This conference features leading-edge research and methodology from those involved in the study of medication effects in real-world patient populations,” said Wayne Ray, Ph.D., professor of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt and scientific program chair for this year's meeting.

“It also is a forum for discussion of important policy issues related to drugs and attracts outstanding researchers from a wide variety of disciplines.”

Jerry Avorn, M.D., past president of the society, professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks and Costs of Prescription Drugs, will give the keynote address.

David Graham, M.D., of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Drug Safety, will participate in a panel discussion on lessons learned from the withdrawal of Vioxx from the market.

Other sessions include: cardiovascular effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and coxibs (COX-2 blockers); advanced methodology; possible effects of various cost-containment options for Medicare drug coverage; and challenges to improving drug safety.

For more information or to register, go to the society's Web site at