Reporting From the American College of Cardiology Meetings 2015: Let the Science and Marketing Begin!

As part of his relentless pursuit of cardiologic knowledge, the skeptical cardiologist is in San Diego preparing to report on the 64th annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology.

At last year’s meetings in Washington, DC, there were over ten thousand physicians attending, about two-thirds of whom were in clinical practice and one-third primarily involved in research.

These cardiologists will be listening to the latest presentations on scientific findings in cardiology and reviewing the best practice and guidelines in clinical cardiology.

They will also be interacting with almost three-hundred exhibitors. The exhibitors consist of companies that want to sell their wares to cardiologists.

Here is an interactive map of all the exhibitors in the “expo.”

If you move your cursor over the largest rectangle in the map you see that this 7800 square foot space belongs to Astra Zeneca, a British multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company. Astra Zeneca sells drugs in a lot of areas but I know that their major focus here at the ACC meeting will be on their new anti platelet drug known as Brilinta (ticagrelor).

They have been aggressively promoting this to cardiologists at my hospital through a combination of company sponsored dinner talks and pharmaceutical rep office lunch visits. When I began using the app for the ACC2015 meetings one of the first things to pop up was a stealth advertisement for this drug.

I moved my cursor over one of the smallest boxes I could find and up popped United Biologics, Inc. who have 100 square feet. Apparently they are “engaged in designing and manufacturing silicone replications of human vasculature, including common pathologies.”

I will be posting about the science and the marketing that goes on here over the next few days.

I’ll focus on the areas I am an expert in, including echocardiography and imaging, along with the new developments in fields like atrial fibrillation, valvular heart disease, prevention of coronary disease and heart failure that can help my patients.

If any of my readers have a particular topic you would like me to report on, let me know.

Yours in skepticism, ACP

Addendum: I have been to lots of ACC meetings in cities like Dallas, Atlanta and Orlando. The convention centers are usually located in very boring parts of the downtown area and are not particularly aesthetically pleasing. The San Diego convention center on the other hand is wonderful.IMG_3406

It is immediately adjacent to Embarcadero Marine Park, a very nice section of the harbor with boats and walking trails and exotic vegetation.

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The building itself it a joy to behold, an architectural gem with features suggesting sails and spires from the nautical world. I can’t wait to get inside and start learning.

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