• Free Lunches Pay off for Drug Companies, Study Shows - NBC News

    The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine, reinforces earlier complaints that drug companies were buying loyalty by showering doctors with gifts, promotional items, lunches with often-attractive drug industry representatives and, most notoriously, paid vacations to luxury resorts that were ostensibly for advanced medical education.
    Dr. R. Adams Dudley of the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues looked at prescribing information for four popular drugs from nearly 280,000 Medicare physicians.

    They included the cholesterol-lowering drug rosuvastatin (brand-name Crestor), the blood pressure drugs nebivolol (brand-name Bystolic) and olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar) and the antidepressant desvenlafaxine (Pristiq).

    The doctors in the study had received some sort of benefit, nearly all meals, worth $20 or less in which the four drugs were discussed. Doctors frequently attend educational sessions at medical meetings or get briefings over meals from drug representatives.

    Those who got four or more meals relating to the four drugs prescribed Crestor nearly twice as often as doctors who didn’t get the free meals; Bystolic more than five times as often, Benicar more than four times as often and Pristig 3.4 times as often, the team found.

    Even one meal where the drug was discussed led to higher prescribing rates, the analysis showed.

    Furthermore, the relationship was dose dependent, with additional meals and costlier meals associated with greater increases in prescribing of the promoted drug,” Dudley’s team wrote.

    • Article en libre accès (extrait du résumé)

      JAMA Network | JAMA Internal Medicine | Pharmaceutical Industry–Sponsored Meals and Physician Prescribing Patterns for Medicare Beneficiaries

      Results A total of 279 669 physicians received 63 524 payments associated with the 4 target drugs. Ninety-five percent of payments were meals, with a mean value of less than $20. Rosuvastatin represented 8.8% (SD, 9.9%) of statin prescriptions; nebivolol represented 3.3% (7.4%) of cardioselective β-blocker prescriptions; olmesartan represented 1.6% (3.9%) of ACE inhibitor and ARB prescriptions; and desvenlafaxine represented 0.6% (2.6%) of SSRI and SNRI prescriptions. Physicians who received a single meal promoting the drug of interest had higher rates of prescribing rosuvastatin over other statins (odds ratio [OR], 1.18; 95% CI, 1.17-1.18), nebivolol over other β-blockers (OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.69-1.72), olmesartan over other ACE inhibitors and ARBs (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.51-1.53), and desvenlafaxine over other SSRIs and SNRIs (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 2.13-2.23). Receipt of additional meals and receipt of meals costing more than $20 were associated with higher relative prescribing rates.

      Conclusions and Relevance Receipt of industry-sponsored meals was associated with an increased rate of prescribing the brand-name medication that was being promoted. The findings represent an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship.

      Target Branded Drugs as a Percentage of All Filled Prescriptions in the Class in 2013, Across Days Receiving Target Drug–Sponsored Meals

      Predicted Probabilities for Prescribing the Target Drug as a Percentage of All Prescriptions in the Class, According to the Number and Cost of Sponsored Meals Received by Each Physician

    • Cher confrère, ça ne prouve nullement l’influence : les médecins qui savent que le pro-glandin est un bon médicament ont tout simplement moins de réticence à accepter des repas de la part de son fabricant ; que dirais-tu s’ils acceptaient à la place les repas du fabricant de génériques, qui marche tellement moins bien !?