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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Which? survey on drug promotion

Which? has published the results of a survey of 200 GPs that collected data on the frequency of promotional contacts and mailings. The BBC and PharmaTimes have both carried this story.

The survey found that, on average, the sample group could expect 4 representative visits per month and five mailings per week. One respondent revealed that, in one month, they received nine visits, 34 mailings and were also invited to attend several conferences or meals.

It was also apparent that the respondents did not trust the information they received with only 7% reporting that they trust the information as much as they trust independent sources. Additionally, almost half (48%) of respondents agreed that more trusted independent sources are needed.

Which? are also critical of the lack of transparency in some drug companies and patient groups about the extent of funding and the projects that these donations are used to support.

Action: Clinicians should ensure that they are using information sources that can be trusted. Robust polices for meeting with drug company representatives and mail screening will minimise the disruption to daily work caused by excessive contacts.

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2 Comments to “Which? survey on drug promotion”

  1. Christophe,

    This is something that many clinicians are already doing here in Britain. There is even a British arm of the International No Free Lunch organisation.

    Comment by Administrator — July 16, 2007 #

  2. Why not encourage healthcare professionals to stop receiving sales reps altogether? We did it at la revue Prescrire one of the founding members of ISDB.

    Christophe Kopp
    GP and Prescrire staff member
    Paris (France)

    Comment by Christophe Kopp — July 14, 2007 #

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