Physicians who receive money from pharmaceutical companies are more likely to ask a hospital to add those companies' drugs to its formulary, a new study reports.
The physicians' involvement with drug manufacturers included meeting with sales representatives, sharing meals at the expense of the company and accepting money for education or research. Depending on the involvement, they were nine to 21 times more likely than other physicians to ask for that company's drug, the study said.
The researchers, from the University Hospitals of Cleveland, didn't think it was likely that physicians made requests first and then worked with that particular company out of interest in the drug. Most of drugs requested had little or no therapeutic advantage over drugs already in the formulary, they said.
Results of the study were published the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.