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Patient requests for specific drugs have major impact on prescribing, reports study in Medical Care
Date:3/14/2014

Philadelphia, Pa. (March 14, 2014) Patient requests for specific medicationsincluding requests for brand-name drugs spurred by direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisinghave a substantial impact on doctors' prescribing decisions, suggests a study in the April issue of Medical Care. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

"A patient request for a specific medication dramatically increases the rate at which physician s prescribe that medication," according to the new research led by John B. McKinlay, PhD, of New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Mass. They add, "These results highlight potential negative impacts of DTC advertising and other forms of activation in medication requests."

How Do Doctors Respond When Patients Request Specific Drugs?

The researchers designed an experimental study to evaluate the effects of "activated" patient requests for specific medications. They made videos in which professional actors portrayed patients with two common, painful conditions: sciatica causing back and leg pain or osteoatrthritis causing knee pain.

Half of the "patients" with sciatica specifically requested oxycodone, a strong narcotic painkiller; while half of the patients with knee arthritis requested the prescription drug Celebrex. The other half of patients requested "just something to make it better."

The patients requesting oxycodone said they had tried their spouse's leftover medication; those requesting Celebrex said they saw it advertised, and that a co-worker took it and said it really helped. The video scenarios were randomly shown to 192 primary care physicians, who were then asked a series of questions about diagnosis and management, including what treatment they would recommend.

The resu
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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