New ways to help your physicians deal with pharma marketing
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
In healthcare, you know that drug companies are going to target your organization's doctors no matter what. But are you as fully engaged as you should be in terms of helping your doctors avoid troubling incentives?
Use the following research-driven advice to guide your doctors in their dealings with pharma marketers — it's crucial for upholding their integrity as well as the overall integrity of your organization.
A Yale University study reports that the drugs most heavily promoted by pharma reps are less likely to be effective than top-selling or top prescribed drugs in their category. Encourage your doctors to question the concrete value of any medication they're pitched about.
Be restrictive in terms of perks offered by opioid manufacturers.
Research from Boston Medical Center found that marketing targeting accepted by doctors from opioid drug reps in 2014 increased prescriptions of these drugs in 2015 by more 9 percent annually.
Even doctors who accepted one or two meals from these reps wrote more opioid prescriptions. As coping with the opioid crisis should be foremost among your organization's priorities, severely restrict or eliminate your doctors' access to these pharma marketers as a company rule.
Request your doctors do more patient education.
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital found that doctors are fulfilling patient requests for name brand drugs over generics more frequently. What's more, doctors who have a relationship with a specific drug company were 33 percent more likely to prescribe that company's brand name drug, incurring unneeded costs to their patients.
Require your doctors to inform patients whenever generics are an appropriate option and why a generic will work as well as a name brand drug to avoid this problem.
Keep your nurse practitioners informed.
A study from William Jewell College found that 42 percent of NPs surveyed did not feel pharma reps crossed the line ethically by offering them gifts.
Make sure your nurse practitioners fully understand the implications of being targeted by a marketer and the adverse impact it may have on patient care and institutional values. Emphasize this as strongly to them as you do to your physicians.
Keep an open door policy.
Ask your doctors and NPs to report overtures and unethical activity from drug reps to you any time it happens. Make sure your staff is being treated fairly by your organization so drug incentives are less tempting, too.
Open communication will help stem any issues and ensure your patients are being prescribed the right medications for the right reasons.
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