According to a new report by University of Southern California researchers in the American Journal of Managed Care," "Though some doctors stick to a few highly advertised medications, only a few physicians prescribe them exclusively.”
No surprise there, but useful and timely as we enter into the New Year with the specter of government detailing (aka “academic detailing”) hovering over both patient choice and the overall ability of physicians to practice medicine as they see fit.
"Narrow prescribing patterns may be optimal when one drug is clearly superior to the others, or if all the drugs in the class act in a similar way."
“Superior” in individual patient performance (clinical performance) to be sure.
The researchers also noted “although most physicians have a favorite drug, they are not reluctant to try new therapies.”
Which begs the question – how and from whom are physicians to learn about new treatments?
A tough and important question for 2012. And it’s not, strictly speaking, academic.