Archive for American Academy of Family Physicians

Still more AAFP – Coca-Cola fallout

Posted in Health Care Policy with tags , , , on November 11, 2009 by drbobbs

Coke2There is now a Facebook page entitled End the AAFP and Coca Cola Collaboration.

From the Associated Press: Family doctors group loses members over Coke deal.

And there’s an online petition: Family Doctors Against the AAFP-Coca-Cola Partnership.


The Pause That Refreshes

Posted in Economics of Health Care, Health Care Policy with tags , , , on November 3, 2009 by drbobbs

HaveACokeThe American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) continues to be the target of criticism in both the blogosphere and conventional media outlets for its partnership with the Coca-Cola company.

From The Kansas City Star:

[T]he American Academy of Family Physicians…represents about 94,000 doctors who struggle to get their patients to shed excess pounds.

From across the room, Coca-Cola bats its eyelashes. The queen of carbonated drinks is fending off attacks that its sugar-sweetened products promote obesity and should be taxed.

The two organizations last month sealed a deal that had Coca-Cola giving the academy a grant in the mid six figures to come up with health messages for the public about beverages and sweeteners.

The academy and Coca-Cola said the information would be based on objective science.

But doctors, nutrition experts and consumer advocates charge that Coca-Cola is proffering the money just to improve its reputation and possibly to buy the academy’s silence.

In various toasts to our health, bedfellows of the strangest kind are everywhere and go back decades. The study of alcoholism owes much to the distilled-spirits industry, which teamed with Cornell University and the National Institute of Health on research as early as the 1940s.

Now an increasingly skeptical and health-conscious public, with so much information at its fingertips, isn’t sure whose advice to trust, said Shelly Rodgers, a University of Missouri researcher of strategic communications: “Consumers instantly see the conflict and go, ‘What? What?’ ”

From American Medical News:

The academy squandered its credibility by “taking tainted Coke cash,” said a statement from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group strongly critical of the food industry. In a letter to Dr. Henley, the group called on the academy to reject the deal.

Henry Blackburn, MD, who was one of 22 public health experts to sign the CSPI letter, said the deal is “just crazy.” Dr. Blackburn, professor emeritus in the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, said “no professional society should accept funding from such companies.”

And from the blogosphere:

coke and doctors, sitting in a tree . . .

Looking for health advice? Dr. Coca-Cola will see you now

Doctor’s Group Under Fire for Coke Partnership

A little bit of a bad thing (is still a bad thing)

An Embarrassing Conflict of Interests

Family Doctor Group Squanders Credibility by Taking Tainted Coke Cash

Perfect Harmony: AAFP and Coca-Cola Get Cozy

The problem here is not that the AAFP will necessarily become a mouthpiece for Coca-Cola.  AAFP members are not going to start telling their patients to have a Coke and a smile three times a day.  The problem is one of perception and credibility.  And you can’t buy back your credibility.  Not for six figures.  Not for any price.

I’d like to buy the world a Coke

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 9, 2009 by drbobbs

AAFPCokeSo, any reaction to that AAFP/Coca-Cola deal?

The Skeptical OB says Family docs: Have a Coke and a bribe!

The Radical Clarity Group says In one stroke, AAFP has indicated that it can be bought.

The Newbie Vegetarian likens the deal to the sale of the AAFP’s soul.

On a practical level, the money the AAFP will get from the Coca-Cola Company will doubtless be put to good use.  The question is how much ire from the Academy’s membership and how much lost credibility with the public is the organization willing to accept?

UPDATE: Marion Nestle at Food Politics says This partnership places the AAFP in embarrassing conflict of interest.  Julie Deardorff at Julie’s Health Club says the venture will—and should—undermine the credibility of the AAFP, one of the leading family doctor groups in the U.S.

UPDATE II: From the Later On blog: Oh, Jesus! This is just pathetic.

UPDATE III: Ken Terry at BNET: [A]t the end of the day, corporations do not spend money on “educational materials” unless it somehow promotes their products. And I am not sure that the AAFP is doing people any favor by telling them it’s ok to consume soft drinks that have no nutritional value but can make them fatter–and therefore, more subject to a host of chronic diseases.

Blogger Lauren Melissa says the AAFP has sold their soul.  Adds Melissa: Pardon my language, but what the shit?!

UPDATE IV: Katherine Hobson at U.S. News & World Report has picked on the story.  Some interesting comments. too.

UPDATE V: Several [AAFP] members spoke [at a recent town hall meeting] of their concerns about the AAFP partnering with a company whose products have been linked to increased obesity, especially in children.

Things go better with Coke

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 6, 2009 by drbobbs

CokeFrom the What Were They Thinking? Department:

The AAFP today announced a corporate partnership with The Coca-Cola Co., in which the beverage giant will provide a grant for the Academy to develop consumer education content related to beverages and sweeteners for the AAFP’s award-winning consumer health and wellness Web site,

Yeah.  This was a good idea.  All will go well with this.  I mean, no AAFP member backlash or anything.  Nope.  Clear skies and smooth sailing.

FP residencies under attack

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 1, 2009 by drbobbs

AAFP News Now is reporting  on  an  FP  residency  in California that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has decided to stop supporting. The CMS even wants back $19 million paid to the residency. Meanwhile, an FP residency in New York City shuts down.

You’d think that the recession, brought on by absurdly bad decisions on the part of business, government, and individuals, would have taught people the dangers of shortsightedness.  You’d be wrong.

AAFP strikes back at screed

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 2, 2009 by drbobbs

Ted Epperly, M.D.

American Academy of Family Physicians president Dr. Ted Epperly has a classy response to Jonathan Glauser’s recent anti-primary care screed.  Dr. Epperly is kind enough to refer to the emergency doc’s tirade as an “opinion piece”.  The link requires AAFP membership and is available here: LINK.  Some excerpts:

[I]t is the system, not primary care, that has fallen into disgrace.

This is a system that pays for procedures, rather than medical expertise…

{T]he solution is not to discredit primary medical care, which — according to research dating to the 1990s — undergirds all high-functioning health care systems in the world.

[E]nsuring that patients have access to comprehensive care…makes primary care uniquely capable of improving health care outcomes, reducing disparities in health care among underserved populations and controlling health care costs.

This has been demonstrated repeatedly in studies by researchers ranging from Johns Hopkins University’s Barbara Starfield, M.D., M.P.H., to the Commonwealth Fund’s Commission on a High Performance Health System. Pilot programs such as North Carolina’s Community Care program for Medicaid patient demonstrate the success of the primary care, patient-centered medical home in caring for low-income patients. Projects such as IBM’s patient-centered primary care initiative with Pennsylvania’s Geisinger Health System prove that a patient-centered medical home can improve outcomes and rein in costs.

That is the difference between an opinion piece and a histrionic rant.

And at the Family Practice Management Noteworthy blog, Brandi White takes Johnny to the woodshed:

[F]amily physicians, under immense time and cost pressures, have led the way in advancing concepts such as same-day appointments and effective chronic disease care. They have also continued to provide charity care out of their own pockets – not their hospital’s deep pockets.