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The makers of popular drugs like Advair, Cymbalta, Viagra and Zoloft have physicians, psychiatrists, and medical school faculty members across California on their payrolls. Does this influence prescribing patterns?

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Broadcast, print and online media professionals are wanted to cover health beats and manage health-related programs nationwide this week.

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National Health Journalism Fellows today toured Watts and came away with a more nuanced understanding of the health and socioeconomic issues facing this economically stressed but still hopeful Los Angeles community. At the Watts Labor Community Action Committee Center in the heart of Watts, Fellows learned about health disparities and HIV/AIDS among blacks from public health officials, policy experts, community leaders and journalists.

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Wendy Lazarus is founder and co-president of The Children's Partnership, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan child advocacy organization with offices in Santa Monica, Calif., and Washington, D.C. Lazarus has spent nearly 25 years working as a children's advocate to secure improved health care and other needed supports for children and families. She served as the Children's Defense Fund's first director of health, as founding vice president for policy for Children Now, and as a consultant to the Conrad Hilton and Piton foundations.

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Lucien Wulsin is an attorney in Los Angeles specializing in health law and health policy. He is director of the Santa Monica-based Insure the Uninsured Project, where he is working on approaches to expand coverage for uninsured working Californians under grants from The California Wellness Foundation, The Blue Shield of California Foundation and The California Endowment.

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Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is an assistant professor of medicine and a CHP/PCOR core faculty member. His research focuses on the constraints that vulnerable populations face in making decisions that affect their health, as well as the effects of government policies and programs designed to benefit vulnerable populations. He has published research on the elderly, adolescents, HIV/AIDS and managed care.

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