Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ontario aims to counter drug firm sales pitches

From the National Post:
Hoping to counter the influence of pharmaceutical-company representatives and their well-versed sales pitches, the Ontario government is joining a growing national movement to offer physicians one-on-one drug briefings that leave out the commercial bias.

Research suggests that visits by pharmaceutical reps, the heart of a multi-million-dollar marketing system, can inordinately skew doctors' prescribing habits.

The province is planning to fund independent experts to visit medical offices and offer a balanced, evidence-based take on drug treatment.

The advice from the proposed service should lead to more appropriate treatments being prescribed to patients, the Ministry of Health says.

It is also hoped to lower costs for the government drug plan.

Its action follows on the heels of a similar initiative getting underway in B.C. Other provinces, from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia, have also dabbled in the idea, called "academic detailing," though the Ontario venture promises to be the largest one yet. ...more

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