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Curt Furberg Awarded Honorary Degree in Sweden for “Courageous Efforts”

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Curt D. Furberg, M.D., Ph.D., has been awarded an honorary degree by his alma mater, Umea University in Umea, Sweden, for his “courageous efforts to promote honesty and integrity in research.”

Furberg, professor and former chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, has been a national advocate for drug safety, especially for monitoring the effects of prescription drugs already on the market.

In 1995, he and several colleagues discovered that a class of drugs used to control high blood pressure, called calcium channel blockers, sharply increased heart attacks and heart failure rather than preventing them, as had been assumed. They published articles in two leading journals, the Journal of the American Medical Association and Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

The articles caused protests and concern, particularly from the pharmaceutical industry. Furberg’s research continued, and a large national trial that Furberg chaired confirmed a dramatic increase in heart failure with the calcium channel blocker amlodipine (Norvasc).

In the years since, Furberg has become widely recognized as a drug safety expert. He serves on the drug safety and risk management subcommittee of the Pharmaceutical Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is also a leading advocate of evidence-based medicine, practicing in accordance with proven treatments.

Earlier this year, Furberg received the Joseph Stokes III award of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology.

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Media Contacts: Robert Conn, rconn@wfubmc.edu. Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

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