Drug sales reps discussed on You & Yours

Today’s You & Yours on BBC Radio 4 featured an enlightening discussion on the way drugs companies wine and dine doctors with the purpose of influencing what drugs they perscribe. Greater transparency of the way drugs are chosen and approved is an issue I campaign for in Your Right to Know. The Health Select Committee is currently conducting an inquiry and the Scottish Executive may soon force all doctors to declare commercial links.

You can listen to the Your & Yours report at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/youandyours/index_20041122.shtml

Dr Des Spence, spokesperson for No Free Lunch, said that the voluntary code of practice governing GPs’ acceptance of hospitality from drug sales reps is vague and not enforced. He has also written an article about the shadowy relationship between doctors and drugs reps for The Ecologist. Some figures say there is one drug rep for every doctor in the UK.

Medical Director Dr Richard Tiner, Tom Walley from Liverpool University and GP Dr Una Coales also contribute to this discussion on whether visits from drug reps really do influence the prescribing habits of doctors.