“Doctors are getting their morning teas, lunches and dinners funded by drug companies who spent AUS$290 million in four years trying to build a cozy relationship with medicos so they could influence prescribing habits,” Australia’s Herald Sun reports.
* “A University of Sydney study has found doctors might never have to pay for a meal with drug companies hosting 116,000 “educational” events for them in the four years between 2011 and 2015.”
* “On average, each week over the four years between 2011 and 2015 there were 608 drug company funded events that ranged from breakfasts, to journal club morning teas and lunches.”
* “A recent US study found these meetings are enough to influence a doctors prescribing habits and generate an increase in prescriptions for expensive brand name drugs even when they include a lunch that costs just $12.”
* “The Pharmaceutical companies that held the highest number of these events were AstraZeneca, Novartis, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Roche and Pfizer.”
* “Targeting medical trainees can lead to a process of normalization and enculturation while trainees develop their professional identity. This has been described as an effective strategy ‘to influence physicians from the bottom up’,” the researchers say.”