The facts about pharmaceutical industry-sponsored education

Drug company promotion to health
professionals is endemic in Australia. We have conducted a world-first analysis that shows just how pervasive this commercial influence is throughout everyday clinical practice. Our research shows that sponsoring events for healthcare professionals is a common promotional strategy of the
pharmaceutical industry. We found that over a hundred and sixteen thousand events for health professionals were sponsored in Australia that’s about six
hundred events per week. Although labeled as educational events, most of these events included food and beverages as part of the package. This range from sushi and sandwiches to lavish four-course meals. Medicines Australia which is the peak body for prescription drug companies in Australia
has previously required its members to report the content and cost of all
events sponsored in Australia. Over seventy five thousand events, food was the only type of sponsorship provided. The new rules require that
companies report payments to individual physicians but all of the previous information we had on individual events will now become hidden. The Evidence Policy and Influence
Collaborative has created an open-access analysable database from the four years
of data from Medicines Australia on the sponsorship of educational events for
health professionals in Australia. In this database you can see all of the
information on events that have been sponsored for healthcare professionals
in Australia and why they have been sponsored. This database will help you
identify the extent and nature of industry sponsored activities for health
professionals in your area.

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