Historical Archive

A bond to loosen.

“Farmindustria continues to overlook the block on funding for congresses. But it's time to shed light on the medical-scientific training side", Pasquale Spinelli, president of the Italian Federation of Medical-Scientific Societies (Fism), said it clearly in a recent meeting held in Milan. A signal of openness from the association of drug companies is needed, starting with the resolution of conflicts of interest and competences once and for all, says Spinelli. And the problem of conflicts of interest is also raised by a study by Jama, taken up by the New York Times, which once again denounces the need to break the financial ties between doctors and industries. But let's proceed in order.
The IMF complaint
The Italian situation to begin with. The problem, Spinelli underlines, is given by the coexistence of too many subjects: the State, the Regions, scientific societies and sponsors, who are poorly and poorly coordinated. Therefore, shared self-regulation is needed. Congresses should go back to being moments of study, with acceptable expenses, and not tourist opportunities. However, this does not mean blocking all events in advance, “it is undeniable that a rebalancing of the system is needed: limiting events and organizing them in accessible venues. With a view to reducing costs”. Simg, the Italian society of general medicine, is also on the same wavelength, which in turn calls for a reorganization of the system, insisting in particular on the need for national rules. “However” adds Claudio Cricelli, president of Simg, “a total revision of medical information would be needed, which does not neglect the aspect of information on the drug”.
Jama's studio
Jama's study dealt with precisely these aspects, emphasizing how the pharmaceutical industry spends 12 billion dollars a year on marketing aimed at doctors. And the bulk of that money is in the form of free product samples, often with lunches for the entire staff. Lunches that correspond to an expense, according to an estimate by the University of Michigan, of something like 2.5 million dollars a year. Complimentary samples are usually the newest and most expensive drugs. The drug industry's idea is that by starting with free samples, patients can more easily maintain therapy rather than switch to a generic. The evidence also says that doctors who work in relationships with companies are more likely to prescribe these drugs. The initiative Jama is talking about is called The Prescription Project and he hopes that relations between doctors and the drug industry will loosen, through limitations on funds directed to academic centers and medical organizations. But not everyone agrees, starting with US academics who fear they will have more and more difficulties in doing research. The hope of the initiative, however, would not be so much to intervene on research sponsorships, but rather on gifts, prize travel or on the activity of conferences and articles on behalf of third parties. It is known that it is good manners to reciprocate a gift, and how to do it, if not by prescribing the drugs of generous companies?
From “PharmaMarketing”

Articoli correlati

Back to top button
Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco