Australian doctors to ban drug company reps from visiting surgeries

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Don't Tell Me Show Me ConceptBy Melissa Davey – The Guardian.

GPs say the No Advertising Please campaign will help curb the inappropriate prescription of medication.

Prominent Australian doctors have vowed to ban drug company representatives from visiting their clinics to promote new drugs, in a move to curb the inappropriate prescription of medicines.

The alliance of around 50 doctors, called No Advertising Please (Nap), includes drug policy expert Ken Harvey, professor of cancer medicine Martin Tattersall, and evidence-based medicine specialist Chris Del Mar.

They are encouraging more doctors to sign up, saying drug company representatives make inaccurate claims favourable to their products, are less likely to mention the risks, and make non-favourable claims about competitor drugs.

Tattersall said research had shown visits from drug representatives – who provide doctors with lunch in exchange for allowing them to promote their products – lead to doctors prescribing the promoted drugs more often and lower quality prescribing.

“I was involved with a study where we interviewed just over 1,000 patients and asked if they knew what the outside interests of their doctor, for example links to pharma, were,” Tattersall said.

“The thing most notable was that most patients didn’t know, but they wanted to know and believed it would boost their confidence in their doctors.”

Tattersall has previously said patients should tape their consultations with doctors to force them to more carefully consider the drugs and treatments they prescribe, and does so with his own cancer patientsread more.

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The ONA Editor curates oncology news, views and reviews from Australia and around the world for our readers. In aggregated content, original sources will be acknowledged in the article footer.

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