January 14, 2013
Problems of overprescribing psychotropic medication, off-label prescribing, direct-to-consumer advertising, and conflicts of interest involved in psychopharmacology are all hot topics in the media. In this workshop, Belinda Novik will shed light on the ethics involved with psychopharmacology by clarifying the relevant history, relationships among major players (including “Big Pharma”), and legislation, which have all contributed to the influence of drug companies in academic, research, and clinical practice. Dr. Novik will describe examples of ethical conflicts that arise with in this environment and the impact on consumers and prescribers. She will also provide guidelines to help clinicians ask relevant questions, empower themselves and their clients, and pursue resources for further inquiry.
Bio: Belinda R. Novik, MSCP, MD, Ph.D., P.C. began her career teaching residents at Duke in the Department of Community and Family Medicine. She developed and taught courses in interviewing skills, therapeutic communication, family dynamics, management of pain and the maintenance of comfort, and has been in private practice as a psychologist since 1982. She has supervised psychologists, social workers, and psychiatry residents. In the 1990s, she noticed something had changed – many of her clients were being medicated by their physicians, and often without adequate education about the medications, their effects, or side effects. Disturbed by this, Dr. Novik pursued further education, earning a master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology (in 2004) and an MD (in 2008), enabling her to practice as a medical psychologist. She is an advocate of truly informed decision making and sees medication as one of many diverse therapeutic approaches.