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Pharmaceutical Industry-Sponsored Meals and Physician Prescribing Patterns

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Industry-Sponsored Meals and Prescribing Rates of Promoted Drugs to Medicare Beneficiaries




•In the last 5 months of 2013, 470,000 MDs received $2.8 billion from industry; 80% of payments were small meals promoting drugs





•Study the association between MDs’ receipt of sponsored meals and their prescribing rates of promoted drugs to Medicare patients



•Data Sources: Medicare Part D Prescriber File and Aug.-Dec. 2013 Open Payments database
•Participants: 279,669 MDs who prescribed statins, β-blockers, ACEi’s/ARBs, or SSRIs/SNRIs
•Exposure: Meals promoting the top drug in each class (rosuvastatin, nebivolol, olmesartan, and desvenlafaxine)
•Outcome: Physician-level prescribing rates of the promoted drug compared to alternatives
•Covariates: Physician-level Rx volume, demographics, specialty, and practice setting
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