Who We Are

PharmedOut is led by a team of academic physicians, and our volunteer network includes nurses, pharmacists, industry insiders, students and others.

Adriane Fugh-Berman MD, Director

Adriane Fugh-Berman MD is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology and in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, where she teaches graduate and medical students about evidence-based medicine and critical assessment of drugs and other therapeutics. As director of PharmedOut, a GUMC research and education project that promotes rational prescribing and exposes the effect of pharmaceutical marketing on prescribing practices, Dr. Fugh-Berman leads a team of volunteer professionals that has had a profound impact on prescribers’ perceptions of the adverse consequences of industry marketing.

Dr. Fugh-Berman has authored many key articles in peer-reviewed literature on the area of physician-industry relationships and conflicts of interest, including an article about how industry uses social psychology to manipulate physicians, an exposé of how ghostwritten articles in the medical literature were used to sell menopausal hormone therapy, an analysis of how “key opinion leaders” are used to market drugs off-label, an explanation of drug rep tactics, a discussion of prescription tracking, a description of industry publication planning, an article on conflicts of interest in basic sciences and a national survey of industry interactions with family medicine residencies. A study in the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions documents the effect of Why Lunch Matters, a presentation that is the first to document a significant change in physicians’ perceptions about their own individual vulnerability to pharmaceutical marketing. Dr. Fugh-Berman lectures internationally and has appeared on every major television network.

Dr. Fugh-Berman is also an expert on botanical medicine and dietary supplements, and directs Georgetown’s Urban Herbs project, which maintains ecological gardens on campus that intermix edible, medicinal, and ornamental plants. She is the author of the 5-Minute Herb and Dietary Supplement Consult. 

Previously, Dr. Fugh-Berman was a medical officer in the Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, NIH. She has also worked with the nonprofit Reproductive Toxicology Center and edited an award-winning CME newsletter on women’s health. Dr. Fugh-Berman graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed a family medicine internship in the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx.

Disclosure: Dr. Fugh-Berman is a paid expert witness in litigation regarding pharmaceutical and medical device marketing practices.


Caroline Renko

Project Manager

Caroline studied Philosophy and Mathematics at Cleveland State University and it was there where she was introduced to public health work. At PharmedOut, Caroline is interested in privacy issues, including protecting health data and the effect that data tracking in general has on public health and the practice of medicine. 

Patricia Bencivenga

Special Projects Coordinator

Patricia earned her M.S. in Health and the Public Interest (HAPI) from Georgetown University in 2021. Prior to her time as a HAPI student, she was an undergraduate researcher with Citizen Science GIS and completed a Research Experience for Undergraduates while earning her Bachelors degree in Sociology at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She hopes to use what she learned in the HAPI program and her background in sociology to improve health outcomes. 

Sharon Batt PhD

Research Fellow

Sharon Batt, PhD is an independent scholar and adjunct professor in the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University, Halifax. Her latest book, Health Advocacy Inc.: How Pharmaceutical Funding Changed the Breast Cancer Movement is a nuanced insider analysis of the alliances between patient groups and the pharmaceutical industry: how and why they formed, their effects on health advocacy, and the implications for health policy, social fairness, and democracy. Her work integrates scholarly research, public education, and social change activism.