FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Attending a medical school with an active gift restriction policy is associated with reduced prescribing of new medications over older alternatives within the same drug class of psychotropic medications, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in BMJ.
Marissa King, Ph.D., from the Yale University School of Management in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues examined the impact of attending a medical school with an active policy on restricting gifts from representatives of pharmaceutical and device industries on subsequent prescribing behavior among graduating physicians. Prescribing patterns for newly marketed medications over existing alternatives of three psychotropic classes (lisdexamfetamine or other stimulants, paliperidone or other psychotics, and desvenlafaxine or other antidepressants) were reviewed for physicians attending one of 14 U.S. medical schools with an active gift restriction policy in place by 2004. These prescribing patterns were compared with those of physicians graduating from the same schools before policy implementation as well as with those of a set of matched contemporary controls.
The researchers found that attending a medical school with an active gift restriction policy correlated with reduced prescribing of the newly marketed drug for two of three medications examined (adjusted odds ratio for prescribing lisdexamfetamine over older stimulants, 0.44; adjusted odds ratio for prescribing paliperidone over older antipsychotics, 0.25). There was no significant effect for prescribing of desvenlafaxine versus older antidepressants. Prescribing rates were further reduced among cohorts of students who had a longer exposure to the policy or were exposed to more stringent policies.
"Future research examining the effect of these policies on medications with varying levels of innovativeness is necessary to establish whether medical school gift restriction policies reduce prescribing of all newly marketed medications or affect prescribing selectively," the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to Medtronic.