Promotion overdose

How much influence do drug companies have on what your GP prescribes you?
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04.GP opinion on drug marketing

We asked our survey participants what they thought about the impact of contact with drug companies:

“It’s a good thing that drug companies provide promotional materials and visits about new drugs.”
  • 86% agree
  • 4% disagree
“I’d rather receive information from drug companies about new drugs in a marketing or promotional format than not receive it at all.”
  • 81% agree
  • 6% disagree
“I often feel pressured by drug company representatives into meeting with them.”
  • 35% agree
  • 41% disagree
“There aren’t enough sources of independent information on new drugs.”
  • 60% agree
  • 19% disagree
“I trust the information I receive from drug companies just as much as independent sources.”
  • 24% agree
  • 55% disagree

GPs in favour of drug company marketing

The survey results indicate that GPs are in favour of drug rep visits because it provides them with up-to-date information in a convenient way. As one GP told us: “[Drug company marketing is] often the only way you get information about new drugs in a timely fashion.”

They’re aware that drug companies are largely profit driven and not without bias: “[Drug companies] play an important role –– including awareness, displaying evidence etc. They’re probably not displaying the evidence without a bias but we as clinicians know and expect that.”

But the reality is GPs receive far more information from drug companies than from independent sources. “[Drug companies] really seem to be the only ones who get out there and do it. More NPS attention would be wonderful!” said one GP.


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