Limiting Interactions with Pharma Reps Cuts Brand Name Drug Prescriptions — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 3, 2017

Limiting Interactions with Pharma Reps Cuts Brand Name Drug Prescriptions

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

Physicians whose medical centers restrict interactions with pharmaceutical sales representatives seem less likely to prescribe heavily marketed drugs, a JAMA study finds.

Researchers examined the prescribing habits of over 2000 physicians at 19 academic medical centers before and after their centers enacted policies limiting pharmaceutical sales rep interactions (so-called detailing policies). These physicians were compared with a control group of nearly 25,000 physicians whose centers didn't adopt such policies.

In the 1-3 years after detailing policies were enacted, prescriptions for heavily marketed drugs decreased, with significant reductions for six of eight drug classes assessed. Simultaneously, prescriptions for generics increased. Such changes were not seen in the control medical centers.

Centers with the strictest policies — for example, those that limited salesperson gifts to physicians, banned pharma reps from patient care areas, and penalized physicians and salespeople who violated the policies — were most likely to see reductions in prescribing detailed drugs.

See the JAMA table of contents, linked below, for over 20 other articles on conflicts-of-interest for physicians.

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