- Prescribing Advice for GPs - https://www.prescriber.org.uk -

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.