Is your Doctor prescribing drugs due to promotions?
A study of physicians prescribing 16.1 million medications show that policies restricting pharmaceutical promotion to physicians lead to thousands of fewer prescriptions.
Often pharmaceutical companies promote medications to physicians during sales visits and events that may involve gifts such as meals and free samples.
“There has long been concern that drug marketing to physicians might influence their prescribing, including — and maybe especially — for psychiatric drugs,” says Michael Schoenbaum, Ph.D., Senior Advisor for Mental Health Services, Epidemiology, and Economics, Division of Services and Intervention Research at NIMH and a coauthor of the study
The researchers looked at prescribing practices by physicians in eight major drug classes: lipid-lowering drugs, gastroesophageal reflux disease drugs, antidiabetic agents, antihypertensive drugs, sleep aids, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs, antidepressant drugs, and antipsychotic drugs.
The study authors reported changes in the market share of promoted drugs. If the physicians worked at a facility where access was limited and they did not receive promotional materials and did not participate in such activities there was 8.7 percent decrease in the prescribing of promoted drugs.
Source: National Institute of Health
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