Industry Payments to Doctors Tied to Nonrecommended, Low-Value Drug Use

Payment from industry associated with increased use of denosumab, GCSF, and nab-paclitaxel, lower use of branded drugs
Industry Payments to Doctors Tied to Nonrecommended, Low-Value Drug Use
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Industry payments to physicians are associated with nonrecommended and low-value drugs, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in The BMJ.

Aaron P. Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H., from the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues estimated the association between oncologists' receipt of payments from the pharmaceutical industry and delivery of nonrecommended or low-value interventions among their patients in a cohort study. Participants were Medicare beneficiaries with a diagnosis of incident cancer at risk for denosumab for castration-sensitive prostate cancer, granulocyte colony stimulating factors (GCSF) for patients at low risk for neutropenic fever, nab-paclitaxel for cancers with no evidence of superiority over paclitaxel, and a branded drug in settings where a generic or biosimilar version was available.

The researchers found that the unadjusted proportion of patients who received nonrecommended denosumab was 31.4 and 49.5 percent for those whose oncologists had not and had received payment, respectively; the corresponding values were 26.6 versus 32.1 percent for GCSF, 7.3 versus 15.1 percent for nab-paclitaxel, and 88.3 versus 83.5 percent for branded drugs. Payments from industry were associated with increased use of denosumab, GCSF, and nab-paclitaxel (17.5, 5.8, and 7.6 percent, respectively), but with reduced use of branded drugs (−4.6 percent) after controlling for patient characteristics and calendar year.

"Given the potential concerns for care quality raised by this study, however, it may be appropriate to re-examine the current status of personal payments from the drug industry to physicians," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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