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On the prescription of the brand, marketing and patients weigh

More than two out of five American doctors prescribe a brand-name drug even when they are convinced that the generic would be just as effective, just because the patient specifically asked for it: this is one of the most significant findings of a large survey published online by the journal Jama Internal Medicine. The investigation, directed by Eric Campbell of Harvard University, contacted about 3,000 doctors belonging to seven different specialties (internal medicine, general practice, pediatrics, cardiology, general surgery, psychiatry and even anesthesia), of whom two-thirds responded. "Prescribing brand name medicines when generics are available generates unnecessary medical costs, the cost of which is borne by the public" the authors begin, who attempted to quantify the phenomenon and identify the main associated factors. The doctors most inclined to comply with patient requests appeared to be those with 30 or more years of career behind them (their 43% did it often or a few times, compared to the 31% of their colleagues active for less than ten years) and in general those who accept samples, food and drinks from industry, and meet pharmaceutical representatives in person. Another significant difference was observed between doctors who work alone (or in pairs) and those included in hospital or university staff: among the former, the percentage of white coats inclined to accept the patient's request without a clinical justification is as much as 46%, while among the latter, it is 35%. "While we are unable to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between industry marketing activities and prescribing habits, at a fundamental level these data suggest that industry marketing works," concludes Campbell.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;():1-3

January 9, 2013 – DoctorNews


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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco