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Nurse practitioners don't realize how much their prescribing is being influenced by drug marketing
Date:3/10/2009

Family nurse practitioners need to be more aware of the commercial pressures they face as a result of their increased involvement in prescribing, according to a survey published in the March issue of the UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.

"Our detailed study of 84 family nurse practitioners (FNPs) showed low awareness of how marketing by pharmaceutical companies affects clinical decisions and creates conflicts of interest" says Dr Nancy Crigger, from William Jewell College, Missouri, USA.

"However they were clear that some marketing activities, promotional items and gifts were less ethical and acceptable than others. For example, gifts that benefited patients and conferences were more acceptable than resort seminars and office equipment."

Dr Crigger, herself a qualified FNP, adds: "The influence of marketing on physician prescribing has been widely researched and this indicates that the more involved physicians are in marketing, the less likely they are to recognise when their clinical judgement has been compromised.

"Our study suggests that the same is now happening to FNPs who have been given greater responsibility for prescribing some types of medication."

Key findings from the survey included:

  • 5% admitted that pharmaceutical reps influenced their prescribing and 26% said they did not, with the vast majority answering sometimes. However they said that other FNP colleagues (18%) and physicians (25%) were more likely to be influenced than them.

  • 41% said they were not influenced by drug company marketing, but 17% said they were. 44% believed their prescribing was positively influenced by marketing rather than negatively, with 10% saying it wasn't.

  • Two-thirds said that promotional items did not influence their prescribing, with just 1% saying it did. 14% said that pharmaceutical representatives may cross ethical boundaries by giving FNPs gifts, but 42%
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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