Doctors value details, says PhRMA-sponsored survey

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A PhRMA-sponsored survey found that nearly eight in 10 US physicians see drug companies and their sales reps as useful sources of information on prescription drugs.
The telephone survey of 500-plus American Medical Association members, conducted by KRC Research, “found that physicians consider a broad range of factors in making their prescribing decisions,” with just under 70% using info provided by company reps and over 80% saying they took into consideration the patient's insurance factors, including formulary and prior authorization requirements.
“What is clear from the results of the survey is that physicians review and integrate information from many sources in order to stay informed about medicines,” said PhRMA CEO John Castellani in a statement. “This helps them make the most informed treatment decisions possible.”
More than 90% of respondents said their interactions with reps allow them to learn about new indications, side effects and emerging risks and benefits, and 84% said their interactions with reps let them provide feedback to companies about their experiences with specific medicines. Most found info from reps to be up to date and timely (94%), useful (92%) and reliable (84%).
Asked about company-sponsored peer education programs, almost 90% said such information was up to date, useful and reliable. Ninety-four percent said the programs strengthened their ability to care for patients. The survey found that peer education programs are particularly important to physicians in rural areas who may not be able to attend professional conferences or CME courses.
PhRMA's Kate Connor suggested that the results offer a “second opinion” on the value of industry-physician interaction.
“To suggest that physicians' treatment decisions would be compromised by these interactions is an insult to their profession and, indeed, to the integrity of the FDA-regulated information that biopharmaceutical research companies provide,” Connor blogged, “data that reflect many years and billions of dollars worth of research. It is only appropriate that the companies that develop the data are the ones with the expertise to disseminate and discuss it.”
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