NEWS RELEASE                                                      For Information:  Cari Reisinger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      

April 11, 2008                                                              209-736-6769



Former Drug Rep Turned Filmmaker and Big Pharma Face Off at University Event


Future Docs/Pharmacists and Faculty Examine Conflicts of Interest Among Drug Companies and Healthcare Providers


Madison, WI—The American Medical Student Association and Kentucky Alliance of Pharmaceutical Students from the University of Kentucky (UK) invited Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, the filmmaker behind the documentary Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety, and a representative from a major drug company to speak to the school’s medical students and faculty earlier this week.  Students from the groups are working with a campus task force to revise the University’s existing pharma relations policy and arranged to hear expert commentary from both sides of the fence before potentially making changes later this year. 


The UK pharmaceutical awareness event—Conflicts of Interest? An Examination of the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Relationship with Healthcare—comes just as universities across the country are banning drug companies from their campuses, strengthening their policies on pharma freebies and implementing guidelines for how students interact with reps.  The Universities of Stanford, Yale and Pennsylvania now have strict policies in place.  Other medical schools, including the program at the University of Texas-Houston where hundreds of medical students gathered last month to prompt change on campuses nationwide, are currently working to establish their own policies.


As part of UK’s event, Slattery-Moschkau was asked to share her insider’s perspective from the decade she spent pushing pills for the drug industry. Based on her personal experiences, as well as facts and commentary presented in her films on the topic, she described how doctors are influenced by drug companies from the moment they step foot into their first medical class and then went on to explain how the levels of influence escalate from there.


“The drug industry is all about ‘getting ’em while they’re young’ so doctors develop certain prescribing habits as early as possible,” said Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau.  “These companies would not be spending $21 billion annually marketing to physicians and students if it didn’t work.”


Since making her debut film, Side Effects (starring Katherine Heigl) which was based on her experiences working for two of the nation’s top drug companies, Slattery-Moschkau has spoken to doctors, medical schools and organizations across the country. Following Side Effects she released the award-winning documentary Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety which was selected by the American Library Association earlier this year as a notable video of 2008. Most recently, Slattery-Moschkau launched a weekly radio program, The Kathleen Show, and a nonprofit media production and promotion company, Be Well Media.  Both ventures are focused on using entertainment to encourage people to live better, healthier lives.









Talking Points/Story Ideas

Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau is available for interviews and can discuss the following:

  • Medical schools across the country are banning drug reps from their campuses and instituting policies to protect future doctors from pharma influence. Kathleen reveals the drug industry’s ‘Get ’em while they’re young’ mentality and shares a behind-the-scenes perspective that proves why more medical programs need to evaluate their policies.


  • What if a doctor reached for his or her pen and wrote a prescription for a weekly dose of blueberries?  The top reasons why a doctor’s prescription pad should be used more often to prescribe alternative options and lifestyle changes before drugs.


  • Prescription drug prices are on the rise, and big pharma continues to spend on direct-to-consumer marketing; what Kathleen has to say about these ads, “free” samples and all those attractive drug reps sitting in your doctor’s office.


  • The American Library Association picked Kathleen’s documentary, Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety as a top film of 2008 and said it “should be required viewing for anyone concerned about the complexities and failings of the American health care system”. Find out the unsettling information that experts share in the film.


  • Newer is not always better; why consumers should think twice before popping the latest and greatest pill on the market, the top questions everyone should be asking their physicians, and where people can find non-biased info about prescription drugs.


  • How are the candidates stacking up when it comes to health care reform and better drug industry regulation?  As a former industry insider, Kathleen shares her thoughts.