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Drug Promotion - What We Know, What We Have Yet to Learn - Reviews of Materials in the WHO/HAI Database on Drug Promotion - EDM Research Series No. 032
(102 pages)

Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsReview 1. What attitudes do professional and lay people have to promotion?
Open this folder and view contentsReview 2. What impact does pharmaceutical promotion have on attitudes and knowledge?
close this folderReview 3. What impact does pharmaceutical promotion have on behaviour?
View the document3.1 Impact of promotion on individual prescribing practices
View the document3.2 Self-reported reasons for prescribing changes
View the document3.3 Prescribing by those who rely on commercial information
View the document3.4 Prescribing and exposure to promotion
View the document3.5 Exploring the impact of samples on prescribing
View the documentSummary
View the document3.6 Impact of promotion on overall sales
View the document3.7 Impact of promotion and industry funding on requests for formulary additions
View the document3.8 DTCA and consumers’ decisions
View the document3.9 Impact of sponsorship on content of continuing medical education courses
View the document3.10 Impact of industry funding on research
View the document3.11 Does funding affect the research agenda?
View the document3.12 Do authors reveal funding sources?
View the documentSummary of conclusions
Open this folder and view contentsReview 4. What interventions have been tried to counter promotional activities, and with what results?
View the documentFinal conclusions
View the documentReferences

3.9 Impact of sponsorship on content of continuing medical education courses

Bowman144 analysed the content of two continuing medical education sessions on calcium channel blockers, funded by different companies, and taught by faculty members. In one of the courses the funding company’s drug was mentioned many more times than other medicines. In both courses the clinical effect ascribed to the funding company’s drug were more positive. There were few comparative statements made, but most favoured the funding company’s drug. This bias was in spite of university policies being instituted between the courses that required the institution rather than the company to control the course content. Bowman and Pearle145 then examined self-reported changes in prescribing patterns related to three company-funded continuing medical education courses. The method they used is not very satisfactory. They attempted to ask course participants before, and six months after each course, about their prescribing of the group of drugs covered in the course. For two courses there was no matching of responses from individuals pre and post the course, and the response rates were not high. Bowman and Pearle conclude that in all three courses the sponsoring company’s drug had the greatest increase in absolute terms. However, some increases occurred in prescribing of other company’s drugs. This study is limited by its reliance on self-report instead of prescribing data. Participants may have wanted to please the authors by saying that they prescribe more of the drug that was presented as the best at the course, if the authors were also the course organizers (this is unclear in the papers).

CONCLUSION: Sponsorship may affect the content of continuing medical education. More research is needed to examine this.

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Last updated: May 4, 2012