When I interviewed Mike Saxon, consultant and facilitator, CME Best Practices, for the December cover story of Medical Meetings (should be online next week), he said one of the main problems we face in trying to reform this industry from a vendor model to an educational model is that both pharma and providers need to hold up a mirror to themselves. If a provider acts like a vendor of pharma products in its own marketing materials, well, why are we surprised when the public and the media views the provider community as nothing more than shills for drug companies?
- In a recent online poll of physicians attending leading pharmaceutical company web conferences, 69% percent reported they were likely to attend a future web event; and zero physicians said they would definitely not participate in a future event. In addition, when asked about their future prescribing behaviors, 65% of physicians reported that they plan to significantly increase prescriptions for the respective drug brands, while 35% reported that they intend to slightly increase the number of scripts (for charts, click here).
I know this is a tech company, not a provider, but it still reeks to me. And from the pharma lawyers, compliance officers, and scientific affairs people I spoke with for the Dec. story, they'd running screaming from the implications of this statement due to today's harsh regulatory requirements. When will everyone involved finally get the message that it's the public good that education is after, not selling more drugs?
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