Pharmaceutical industry funding of educational events for pharmacists in Australia: An analysis of data from the first 6 months of a mandatory disclosure programme

Clinical Pharmacology, School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Waratah, NSW, Australia.
International Journal of Pharmacy Practice 04/2010; 18(2):88-92. DOI: 10.1211/ijpp.18.02.0003
Source: PubMed


The aim of the study was to assess the extent of pharmacist participation in pharmaceutical industry-sponsored educational events in Australia.
A descriptive analysis was performed of 14 649 educational events provided by 43 companies between July and December 2007, using publicly available reports posted on the Medicines Australia website. Pharmacist participation was assessed according to duration and type of event, whether continuing professional education credits were awarded, type of venue, hospitality provided and cost of hospitality.
Most of the 14 649 industry-sponsored events reported in this mandatory reporting programme were targeted at doctors (specialists and general practitioners). Pharmacists were present at 621 events (4.2%); 209 events were pharmacist-only events. Of pharmacist-only events, 68% were held in hospitals and professional rooms and 13% in restaurants. In contrast, 32% of events involving doctors were held in restaurants (difference in proportions 18.9%; 95% confidence interval 13.5-22.9%) Sixty-six per cent of pharmacist-only events were 1 h or less in duration; 81% were 2 h or less. Almost 40% were reported as training or in-service activities, generally conducted in hospitals. Only three events had continuing professional education credits assigned. The most common topics discussed were oncology, diabetes, haematology, cardiology and gastroenterology; a specific medicine was mentioned in the descriptor for 23 of the 209 (11%) events. Hospitality provided was generally modest, averaging AU$36.24 per pharmacist across all pharmacist-only events, and lower in hospital (AU$9.21 per head) than those held in restaurants (AU$51.42).
The data from this first report suggest pharmacists were not a major target for industry-funded educational events. Exposure to such events will likely increase as pharmacists take on enhanced prescribing roles and it is important that this is captured under the mandatory disclosure requirements that have been introduced in a number of jurisdictions. It is also desirable that such schemes include generic medicines manufacturers and that pharmacy professional bodies use these data to monitor and manage the level and impact of interactions between pharmacists and industry.

4 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Expansion of scope of practice and diminishing revenues from dispensing are requiring pharmacists to increasingly adopt clinical care services into their practices. Pharmacists must be able to receive payment in order for provision of clinical care to be sustainable. The objective of this study is to update a previous systematic review by identifying remunerated pharmacist clinical care programs worldwide and reporting on uptake and patient care outcomes observed as a result. Methods: Literature searches were performed in several databases, including MEDLINE, Embase and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, for papers referencing remuneration, pharmacy and cognitive services. Searches of the grey literature and Internet were also conducted. Papers and programs were identified up to December 2012 and were included if they were not reported in our previous review. One author performed data abstraction, which was independently reviewed by a second author. All results are presented descriptively. Results: Sixty new remunerated programs were identified across Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, ranging in complexity from emergency contraception counseling to minor ailments schemes and comprehensive medication management. In North America, the average fee provided for a medication review is $68.86 (all figures are given in Canadian dollars), with $23.37 offered for a follow-up visit and $15.16 for prescription adaptations. Time-dependent fees were reimbursed at $93.60 per hour on average. Few programs evaluated uptake and outcomes of these services but, when available, indicated slow uptake but improved chronic disease markers and cost savings. Discussion: Remuneration for pharmacists' clinical care services is highly variable, with few programs reporting program outcomes. Programs and pharmacists are encouraged to examine the time required to perform these activities and the outcomes achieved to ensure that fees are adequate to sustain these patient care activities.
    Canadian Pharmacists Journal 07/2014; 147(4):209-32. DOI:10.1177/1715163514536678