LECOM welcomes distinguished guest speaker Dr. Curt Furberg

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy welcomed distinguished guest speaker Curt D. Furberg, M.D., Ph.D., on Nov. 27. Dr. Furberg is a Professor of Public Health Sciences at the Wake Forest University of Medicine, where he started the Center for Research and Biometry.

Dr. Furberg addressed evidence-based medicine, the FDA and drug safety with an audience that included all first- and second-year pharmacy students and several third-year students on clinical rotation.

Dr. Curt Furberg discusses
evidence-based medicine
with LECOM pharmacy

“The discussion on evidence-based medicine seeks to find reasons why patients aren’t receiving optimal care,” Dr. Furberg said. “If a patient goes to his or her physician, they have about a 50 percent chance of getting optimal treatment. The immediate question then is, ‘Why aren’t all patients getting the best care?’

“It turns out there are a lot of barriers,” he added. “So then the question becomes, ‘What can you do to improve the situation?’”

Dr. Furberg described a couple of options to make the system better, including monitoring the performance of health care professionals.

“If you let people in the departments that perform below average know that they are not doing an optimal job, that is often enough,” he said. “People don’t want to be below average.”

Dr. Furberg is a nationally and internationally recognized cardiovascular epidemiologist with expertise in clinical trials and public health. He is a strong proponent for evidence-based medicine. His public health background provides a strong foundation for his views on drug evaluation and patient safety.

He is best known as the principal investigator for the “Anithypertensive and Lipid Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial,” or ALLHAT.

ALLHAT was the largest study of pharmaceutical treatments for elevated blood pressure and the second largest lipid-lowering medication trial. Researchers led by Dr. Furberg studied more than 40,000 people in a four-year period. On-going evaluation of the ALLHAT data continues to produce findings aiding the prevention of heart disease.

November 30, 2007
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