Sampling restrictions modestly alter prescribing behavior

October 19, 2010

Implementation of a policy restricting drug sampling and pharmaceutical industry detailing in a small rural clinic resulted in modest reductions in the prescription of branded and promoted drugs, according to research published in the September/October issue of the "Annals of Family Medicine."

Implementation of a policy restricting drug sampling and pharmaceutical industry detailing in a small rural clinic resulted in modest reductions in the prescription of branded and promoted drugs, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine, HealthDay News reported.

Daniel M. Hartung, PharmD, MPH, of the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy and colleagues evaluated prescribing trends in a rural Oregon family practice clinic to assess the effect on prescribing behavior of a policy restricting pharmaceutical industry detailing and sampling.

The researchers found that the use of promoted brands decreased by 1.43%, while use of non-promoted brands increased by 3.04%. Prescriptions for branded drugs for respiratory disease fell 11.34% compared with those written by a control group of prescribers, and there was a 9.98% and 11.34% decrease in prescriptions of promoted brands for cholesterol-lowering drugs and antidepressants, respectively. The trend in average per-prescription cost for lipid-lowering drugs was reduced by 70 cents per prescription monthly.

Immediately after policy implementation, the average prescription drug costs overall increased by $5.18.