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[e-drug] 'No Advertising Please' (NAP) campaign (Prescribers need evidence, not marketing)

E-DRUG: 'No Advertising Please' (NAP) campaign (Prescribers need evidence, not 

Doctors launch campaign to ban pharmaceutical rep visits


A new alliance of Australian doctors is pledging to ban pharmaceutical
company representatives from "educational" visits to their practices in a
national campaign aimed at reducing the prescription of medications in
inappropriate and potentially harmful ways.

As part of the campaign, doctors will sign a pledge declining to see for a
year visiting drug company representatives who routinely call on many
medical practices, providing a light lunch in exchange for the opportunity
to promote their company's products to the doctors. 

The NAP group sponsoring the campaign cites research studies which have
found that doctors receiving information from pharmaceutical companies -
including from drug rep visits - is associated with increases in
prescriptions of promoted drugs, decreased quality of prescribing and
increased costs. They also cite research that drug reps make inaccurate
claims favourable to their drug, but made accurate and non-favourable claims
about their competitors' drugs. Most doctors could not recall any false
statements from these interactions.

NAP spokesperson, Brisbane GP Dr Justin Coleman, said the campaign was not
seeking to demonise pharmaceutical companies which produced so many
life-improving drugs. "But we do want to discourage the routine acceptance
by doctors of the promotion of drugs in this way".

 'Some GPs enjoy the social interaction with reps and the time out from a
busy practice. Some GPs find the gifts, sponsorship or lunch from
pharmaceutical companies important, or simply enjoy the perks, even when
there is an implied reciprocal obligation to prescribe a company's drug,' Dr
Coleman said. 

'Doctors are all vulnerable to being misled by skilfully-presented
information while there are better, independent sources of information about
drugs, such as Australia's NPS MedicineWise, Australian Prescriber,
Therapeutic Guidelines and the Australian Medicines Handbook.'

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia has welcomed the campaign 'as an
important sign that doctors' prescribing decisions are based on best
independent evidence. 

'The NAP campaign brings a new and refreshing level of transparency into
medical practice," the Chief Executive Officer of CHF, Adam Stankevicius
said. "It can only boost the level of trust patients place in their doctors
to see a NAP poster in their waiting rooms.'

Some initial media coverage: 





And a nice response from the industry body: Medicines Australia:


Finally, doctors from other countries (not just Australia) are also invited
to sign the pledge and have their location mapped on the site's homepage


Dr Ken Harvey
Adjunct Associate Professor
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Monash University
"Ken Harvey" <k.harvey@medreach.com.au>

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