Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Docs not immune to drug marketing, study finds

Date:
October 20, 2010
Source:
York University
Summary:
New findings show that pharmaceutical promotion may cause some doctors to prescribe more expensively, less appropriately and more often.

Pharmaceutical promotion may cause some doctors to prescribe more expensively, less appropriately and more often, according to a new study.

The findings, published in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine and led by University of Queensland professor Geoffrey Spurling, offer a broad look at the relationship between doctors' prescribing habits and their exposure to information provided by drug companies. Researchers analyzed 58 separate studies of this phenomenon from Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia, dating from the 1960s.

"Many doctors claim they aren't influenced by the information provided by pharmaceutical companies. Our research clearly shows that they are -- and the influence is negative," says study co-author Joel Lexchin., a professor in the School of Health Policy & Management in York's Faculty of Health and an emergency physician in Toronto.

"Unfortunately, patients are the ones getting a raw deal. If doctors are inundated with advertising from brand name companies, they are more likely to prescribe that brand name, regardless of whether it's best for the patient," Lexchin says.

Overall, researchers found no evidence that drug companies' promotional efforts improve prescribing behaviour in any way. All but one of the studies suggested that exposure to promotional information was associated with lower prescribing quality; others detected no association. Findings also show that promotional information led to more frequent prescribing; studies dealing with this correlation either showed a spike in prescribing or detected no association. Researchers also established a link between promotion and higher prescribing costs.

Lexchin says Canadian drug companies spend big money on marketing their products to physicians, to the detriment of other priorities such as research and development.

"In Canada, companies are estimated to be spending anywhere between $2.4 and $4.75 billion annually on promotion, one of the major reasons why spending on brand name drugs was rising at a rate of just under 10 per cent annually until two years ago," he says.

A limitation of the research is that most studies were observational in nature, meaning that the majority of physicians who participated were not randomly selected.

"Although we didn't find any evidence of improvements in prescribing due to promotional information, that doesn't entirely exclude the possibility that prescribing might sometimes be improved," Lexchin says. "As a precaution, we recommend that physicians avoid exposure to the information provided by pharmaceutical companies."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Spurling GK, Mansfield PR, Montgomery BD, Lexchin J, Doust J, et al. Information from Pharmaceutical Companies and the Quality, Quantity, and Cost of Physicians' Prescribing: A Systematic Review. PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7 (10): e1000352 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000352

Cite This Page:

York University. "Docs not immune to drug marketing, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101019171705.htm>.
York University. (2010, October 20). Docs not immune to drug marketing, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101019171705.htm
York University. "Docs not immune to drug marketing, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101019171705.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins