The pervasive distrust of the pharmaceutical industry among academics, regulators and medical practitioners could adversely affect patients' health. At an AEI event on Thursday evening, a panel of health experts discussed their research on the unintended consequences of anti-industry bias.
George Chressanthis of Temple University began with an explanation of his recently published paper on the effect of restricting pharmaceutical representatives' access to doctors. His research demonstrates that physicians with limited access to representatives react slower to new medical information, taking longer to begin prescribing breakthrough drugs and to stop prescribing medications with recently discovered dangerous side effects.
ZS Associates' Nitin Jain (a co-author of Chressanthis's paper) elaborated that their results were significant even after controlling for other factors such as practice size or managed care that might affect access to pharmaceutical representatives. Tom Stossel of Harvard University Medical School then discussed his findings detailing prejudice towards the pharmaceutical industry. In a paper published in April, Stossel found that high-tier medical journals overemphasize the risk of collaboration between industry, practice and academia without mentioning the benefits that can arise from this collaboration. The bias Stossel describes is at the root of the movement to restrict representatives' access to prescribers, a movement which — as Chressanthis and Jain explained — may harm the patients it aims to protect.
-- Catherine Griffin
Nearly every week brings both good and bad news about the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceutical products. A timely and clinically relevant way to disseminate this news to physicians and other prescribers is via field and sales communications by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. But a growing anti-industry bias — held by academic researchers, health insurers, regulators and others who seek to constrain spending on new medicines — is determined to restrict access to prescribers.
This session will present important new findings on the dangers of blocking pharmaceutical company communications to prescribers. Among the negative effects are continued use of medications despite new safety warnings and slower uptake of breakthrough, potentially life-saving new medicines.
The event will be followed by a wine and cheese reception honoring the late Jack Calfee of AEI, who was excited about this research before his untimely passing.
Full video will be posted within 24 hours.