Doctor Ties To Drug Companies Decline, But Remain High, Survey Finds
The Associated Press: "Doctors have sharply cut some financial ties to drug companies, thanks to increased scrutiny about relationships that critics say improperly influence medical treatment," a survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found. Researchers surveyed 1,891 doctors in May 2009. The "number of doctors who accept drug company money for attending medical meetings, fell from 35% in 2004 to 18% in last year," while the "portion of doctors who said they let drug companies pay for food or drinks" fell from 83% to 71% and the "portion who got free drug samples fell from 78% to almost 64%" (Tanner, 11/8).
MedPageToday: Despite a "decline in so-called 'physician-industry relationships,' the researchers argued that they 'remain common in medicine today.'" Overall, the "results showed that 83.8% of respondents reported at least one type of physician-industry relationship, down from 94% in 2004." Researchers also found "three factors predicted whether or not a doctor would have any form of physician-industry relationship -- specialty, type of practice organization, and levels of Medicare spending in the region of practice. For instance, they found, physicians were less likely to report accepting samples in areas where Medicare spending is low -- 56.2% said they did -- than in areas of medium spending (66.9%) or high spending (63.4%)" (Smith, 11/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.