Physicians' Understanding of Clinical Trial Data in Professional Prescription Drug Promotion

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Abstract

Background:

Prescription drug marketing to physicians often includes clinical trial data. Prior research has shown that physicians may not have the necessary knowledge to understand all clinical trial results and they can be influenced by how these results are reported. This study focused on physicians' reactions to and evaluations of clinical trial data presented in professional prescription drug promotion.

Methods:

We conducted 60-minute interviews with practicing physicians across the United States (50 primary care physicians and 22 endocrinologists). Physicians viewed prescription drug promotional materials that contained clinical trial data and answered follow-up questions.

Results:

Physicians demonstrated low to moderate knowledge about clinical trial-related terms found in promotional prescription drug materials.

Discussion:

Results from this qualitative analysis underscore a need to determine how clinical trial data in prescription drug promotional materials affect physicians' attitudes and decision making.

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