Summer school 2014 Veselības projekti Latvijai

Summer school

'Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion'

July 1- July 4, 2014

Ventspils, Latvia

Pharmaceutical promotion, e.g. activities by manufacturers to stimulate sales of medicines, such as visits by sales representatives, advertising and free samples, influences how doctors and pharmacists choose to prescribe or dispense medicines. This influence is often under-recognized, and although the influence of pharmaceutical industry starts early at medical schools, medical students often receive little or no instruction on how to assess and respond to pharmaceutical promotion.

The aims of the Summer School were to help students to better understand the context for the promotional interactions and ethical choices that they will encounter once they are in professional practice, and to provide training in critical analysis of promotion.


The syllabus of the Summer School was based on the manual “Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A practical guide” developed jointly by Health Action International and the World Health Organization. Topics included:

  • Promotion of medicines and health
  • Techniques that influence the use of medicines
  • Communication with pharmaceutical sales representatives
  • Promotion, professional practice and patient trust
  • Using unbiased prescribing information

The course included 8 lectures and 8 workshops (90 minutes each).

Summer School schedule.

Invited Faculty and Presentations:

Tim Reed, PhD, Executive Director of Health Action International (HAI) (Amsterdam) biosketch

Promotion of medicines

Learning how not to do the pharmaceutical industry tango

Pharmaceutical sales representatives

Promotion, professional practice and patient trust

Barbara Mintzes, PhD, member of HAI Europe network. Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia (Canada) biosketch

Using unbiased prescribing information

Do sales representatives inform doctors of the harmful effects of medicines?

Influence Techinques

Ieva Salmane Kuļikovska

What research studies say about promotion of medicines in Latvia

Ilze Aizsilniece, Elita Poplavska

Communication with pharmaceutical sales representatives

Signe Mežinska

The role of institutional policy

Results achieved:

30 students Educated about doctors and pharmacists ethics, interaction with the representatives of pharmaceutical industry and conflicts of interest and risks of corruption issues. 3 volunteer teachers were appointed from the parent organization - HAI. Students interest was promoted in these issues asa result it will lead to a follow-up event to a wider range of medical students oganized by Latvian Medical Students' Associationby at the beginning of 2015.

The Summer School was co-financed by Ojars Veide Scholarship Fund and Health Action International.

The Project was financially supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Program is funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism and Latvian state. More information:;;