For Sale: Physicians' Prescribing Data

New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 07/2006; 354(26):2745-7. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp068125
Source: PubMed

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    • "Prescribers are identified by number (usually state license or Drug Enforcement Administration numbers). IMS obtains records on about 70% of prescriptions filled in community pharmacies.6 Prescription information is also obtained from pharmacy benefit managers and wholesalers.3 "
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    ABSTRACT: Monitoring and modifying physicians' prescribing behavior through prescription tracking is integral to pharmaceutical marketing. Health information organizations (HIOs) combine prescription information purchased from pharmacies with anonymized patient medical records purchased from health insurance companies to determine which drugs individual physicians prefer for specific diagnoses and patient populations. This information is used to tailor marketing strategies to individual physicians and to assess the effect of promotions on prescribing behavior. The American Medical Association (AMA) created the Prescription Data Restriction Plan in an attempt to address both the privacy concerns of physicians and industry concerns that legislation could compromise the availability of prescribing data. However, the PDRP only prohibits sales representatives and their immediate supervisors from accessing the most detailed reports. Less than 2% of US physicians have registered for the PDRP, and those who have signed up are not the physicians who are targeted for marketing. Although it has been argued that prescription tracking benefits public health, data gathered by HIOs is designed for marketing drugs. These data are sequestered by industry and are not generally available for genuine public health purposes.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Journal of General Internal Medicine
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  • No preview · Article · Oct 2006 · Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
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