A Study of Attitude and Knowledge of the Psychiatry Resident Doctors toward Clinician-Pharmaceutical Industry Interaction

By Balhara, Yatan; Mathur, Shachi et al. | Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, January-March 2012 | Go to article overview

A Study of Attitude and Knowledge of the Psychiatry Resident Doctors toward Clinician-Pharmaceutical Industry Interaction


Balhara, Yatan, Mathur, Shachi, Anand, Nikhilesh, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine


Byline: Yatan. Balhara, Shachi. Mathur, Nikhilesh. Anand

Background: Pharmaceutical industry and clinicians are the two important stakeholders in the modern-day health care. However, concerns have been expressed about the lack of congruence between the goals of these two. Aims: The current study aimed at exploring the knowledge and attitude of the psychiatry resident doctors toward the clinician-pharmaceutical industry interaction and also at exploring the knowledge of the residents about the new Medical Council of India guidelines on this issue. Materials and Methods: The survey was conducted among psychiatry residents. Descriptive statistics with frequency distribution was carried out by using SPSS version 17.0. Results: It had a good response rate of around 90%. The survey reveals the knowledge and attitude of the psychiatry residents toward the psychiatrist-pharmaceutical industry interaction. Conclusions: The survey provides understanding in knowledge and attitude of the psychiatry residents towards the psychiatrist-pharmaceutical industry interaction.

Introduction

Pharmaceutical industry and clinicians are the two most important stakeholders in the modern-day health care. However, concerns have been expressed about the lack of congruence between the goals of these two. [sup][1] The practice of the drug industry to persuade doctors to prescribe certain brands by giving gifts or providing 'hospitality' has also been documented. [sup][1]

Worldwide there has been a sea change in the field of medical ethics with regard to the clinician-pharmaceutical industry interaction. [sup][2] The Medical Council of India (MCI) has issued a new code of ethics for the clinicians while dealing with the pharmaceutical industry. [sup][3] Concerns have been expressed about the possible impact of these new amendments. [sup][4]

The current study aimed at exploring the knowledge and attitude of the psychiatry resident doctors toward the clinician-pharmaceutical industry interaction and also at exploring the knowledge of the residents about the new MCI guidelines on this issue.

Materials and Methods

Setting, sample frame, and methodology

The study used a cross-sectional survey design. Resident doctors from the department of psychaitry of a total of six colleges were included in the study.

One of the authors approached the resident doctors after their duty hours and briefed them about the study. They were requested to participate in the survey. The study questionnaire was provided to them, which they filled and returned to the interviewer there and then.

Questionnaire

The survey questionnaire consisted of a total of 34 items. The survey questions were aimed at exploring four domains: (1) benefits of the psychiatrist-pharmaceutical industry interaction; (2) impact of the psychiatrist-pharmaceutical industry interaction on prescribing practices; (3) regulation of the psychiatrist-pharmaceutical industry interaction; (4) knowledge and awareness of the MCI guidelines. Conditions of anonymity and confidentiality were ensured. A total of 43 psychiatry resident doctors were approached. Thirty-nine of them returned the questionnaire. The data were analyzed by using SPSS version 17.0.

Results

Psychiatry resident doctors from six colleges were approached for the participation in the study. A total of 39 psychiatry residents participated in the survey. The response rate was high at 90%. All the resident doctors were involved in the clinical care of the patients and were managing patients in the outpatient as well as inpatient settings.

Benefits of the psychiatrist-pharmaceutical industry interaction

Forty-five percent of the residents felt that the psychiatrist-pharmaceutical industry interaction was of benefit to the psychiatrists. While 71% believed that such an interaction was of benefit to the pharmaceutical industry, 51% were of the view that such an interaction was of benefit to the patients and their family members [Figure 1]. …

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