Frequent Interactions Between Clinican and Big Pharma Conflicts of Interest: Experts

Pharmaceutical policy experts say that frequent interactions between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals can create conflicts of interest for clinicians.

Professor Barbara Minzes told the Epoch Times between medical professionals who received low-priced meals while promoting the drug and the percentage of specialists who prescribed the drug compared to generics of similar quality. He said he showed that there were results.

A common example, according to Mintz, is a pharmaceutical company sponsoring an event that provides food and drink to medical professionals.

“If you look at doctors, you’ll be told that you can’t buy at the price of pizza, you can’t buy at the price of sandwiches,” Mintz said. Studies in the United States Doctors who received a meal promoting a drug of interest found that they averaged less than $ 20 (AU $ 29) and were significantly more likely to prescribe the drug compared to generics of similar quality. rice field.

The study also said, “More meals were provided. Doctors are more likely to prescribe the product.”

Mintz said the decision may not be conscious, but “we are all human and tend to be reciprocal, whether conscious or not.”

“Companies are also considering the rate of return on investment in marketing activities, and we can expect that they will not continue marketing activities that were ineffective in terms of stimulating sales.”

Prior to 2015, Medicines Australia required the publication of each event hosted by a member company. This includes event information such as the number of health care professionals, attendees, spending, and spending on food. A much more common drink.

In addition, from 2011-2015 Medicines Australia data, the Mints team found that, on average, corporate-sponsored drug events are held in hospitals and universities. More than 600 times a weekAn average of 30 participants per event.

However, since October 2015, Medicines Australia has changed its code of conduct to require payment of food and drink, so it now reports companies that list only the clinicians who funded it.

This increases transparency regarding the identification of individual healthcare professionals, Subsequent research led by the University of Sydney In 2016, disclosed spending fell by 34.1%, and spending reports fell the following year.

Underreporting of conflicts of interest in pharmaceutical research

Pharmaceuticals Australians changed in 2015, but Mints Recent co-authored research Underreporting of conflicts of interest by medical professionals raises further questions about the limitations of the self-assessment system.

The team investigated published data from Medicines Australia and found that when the research team received commercial funding, nearly half of the drug trials by Australian authors omitted or incompletely declared their interests.

“Sure, it doesn’t seem like one or two bad apples are hiding a conflict of interest. It seems like it’s a fairly widespread situation,” she said.

Mints suggested that there may be a lack of “understanding” of the importance of full disclosure of conflicts of interest throughout the scientific and publishing process, drawing further attention by authors and journal editors.

“As these databases are published and companies are reporting payments, authors need to systematically check themselves in the databases to make sure they are fully reported,” she says. I did.

“This is just an important element of trust and integrity in science.” Reporting industry funding is the “standard for medical research as a whole.”

Marina Chan


Marina Chan is based in Melbourne and focuses on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]