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What do we know about docs and pharma?

Posted by David Evans, MD April 12, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Last week I had the privilege of speaking at the Oregon Rural Practice Based Research Network (ORPRN) meeting as part of the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) annual assembly.  I was one of several speakers in an afternoon devoted to the Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry relationship and presented a recent paper about my pharm free office.

There were two things that struck me in the questions and answer session that followed the talk.  First, a number of people commented that their offices were also pharm free but they did not write about it in any medical literature.   Surveys show that about 94% of doctors interact in some way with drug reps.  I wonder how many practices out there are pharm-free if nobody is reporting them?

Second, many doctors at the meeting commented that they have tried to take their practices pharm-free but have not been successful for a variety of reasons.

So to all of you reading this post I ask this:

  1. How do you and your practice or hospital interact with pharma?  Are you pharm free?
  2. If you have tried to get your practice or hospital to become pharm-free but have not been successful, what are the barriers?

Let me say how proud I am to be a part of the NPA and the OAFP – two organizations that do not accept pharma money.  And in the spirit of the dialogue that was started at last week’s OAFP meeting please let us know what your practice or hospital is doing with respect to the Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry relationship.

4 Responses to “What do we know about docs and pharma?”

  1. Marilyn Fraser MD says:

    I came back from the meeting, had a good look at my office, and cleaned out a BUNCH of pharm logo junk. Biggest barrier in my office will be colleagues who like the lunches, trinkets and schmooze! Staff likes lunches, but I agree with the speaker who offered monthly lunch with meeting time to staff, it would be more productive. Trinkets add ++ to the office clutter and will not be missed, I’m sure. I will miss the inhalers and insulin, the only samples that I believe really help out patients.

  2. Marilyn Mann says:

    Hi, I’m a patient (not a doctor). I left my previous internist in part because she interacted too much with drug reps (lunches, stuff with pharma logos). When I was looking for a new internist, I was not able to find one who is completely pharm free. My internist uses drug samples, which I guess means at least some interaction with drug reps. He does not let them bring food.
    Is there any easy way to locate pharm-free doctors? I would be interested to know. No free lunch has a database of doctors but it is very limited.

  3. Marilyn Mann says:

    Also, has your paper been published? If so, do you have a link? Thx.

    • Dave Evans says:

      The paper will be published in the Journal of Family Practice in August 2011. You should be able to find it online and perhaps take it to your internist.

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