Objective: Sales visits, or detailing, by pharmaceutical industry representatives at academic institutions has been increasingly criticized. The authors surveyed psychiatric residents and faculty members on their views and interactions with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. Methods: In 2007, a 46-item online survey measuring attitudes toward and interactions with pharmaceutical industry representatives was sent to 49 faculty psychiatrists and 40 psychiatric trainees (residents and fellows) at a Northwest academic medical center. Results: Sixty-five percent (N=58) of surveys were completed. Two-thirds of respondents did not agree that pharmaceutical representatives have an important teaching role. Only 24% of faculty and 18% of trainees agreed that pharmaceutical representatives provide useful and accurate information on new drugs. Forty-one percent of faculty and 53% of trainees agreed that pharmaceutical representatives should be restricted from making presentations on campus. Trainees were less likely than faculty to agree that they would maintain contact with representatives if no gifts or food were distributed. Nevertheless, most respondents endorsed that pharmaceutical companies supported important conferences, and more than 90% had attended an industrysponsored event in the previous year. In open-ended questioning, respondents revealed worries that bans would undermine the ability to secure national speakers and to support other activities that residents valued. Conclusion: Faculty and psychiatric residents and fellows do not view pharmaceutical representatives as having an important teaching role and mistrust the information they offer but believe that loss of industry financial support does adversely affect educational and other highly valued activities. They favor greater policy restrictions but do not support an outright ban on pharmaceutical support.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health