We know that (according to Campbell's 2007 survey) 94% of US physicians interact in some way with the pharmaceutical industry. We also know, from many sources reviewed in HOOKED and in this blog, that many physicians resist any suggestion that their prescribing behavior might be influenced through that contact. Finally, previous studies of educational interventions aimed at residents and practitioners have not been very encouraging.
But help is on the way. Adriane Fugh-Berman and her colleagues at PharmedOut have both put together a nice slide show suitable for a medical grand rounds or similar hospital conference, and also have reported (subscription required) on the evaluations from 14 presentations to some 373 physicians in multiple specialties. (You can find the slide show at http://www.pharmedout.org/type.htm#slideshows, though if I understand the article and a related communication from PharmedOut, there may be a new, revised version that is not yet up on the Web.)
The authors report fairly substantial shifts in attitudes based on pre-and-posttest data from these educational presentations, according to which physicians became considerably more skeptical of drug company gifts and information, and more inclined to refuse to accept gifts or to speak with drug reps. While this does not address what real behavior change followed over time, it is rather more encouraging than was the case with previous educational efforts. So if any physicians are looking for an easy-to-borrow slide show to educate their colleagues, check this one out.
Fugh-Berman AJ, Scialli AR, Bell AM. Why lunch matters: assessing physicians' perceptions about industry relationships. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 30(3):197-204, 2010.
Campbell EG, Gruen RL, Mountford J, et al. A national survey of physician-industry relationships. New England Journal of Medicine 356:1742-50, 2007.