Prescribing Rationally, Not Fashionably. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 017 (1994)
(1994; 1 page)


The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) created a teaching module to help young doctors to benefit from informational meetings with pharmaceutical representatives. The module aims to promote rational drug prescription by raising awareness of the potential conflict between the sales and educative roles of industry representatives through a video. In the video, a junior doctor meets twice with a pharmaceutical representative. The first time shows the doctor being passive and uncritical, while the second time shows him taking an active role, asking questions, and comparing the given information to unbiased sources. Viewers are then encouraged to discuss the practicality and pros and cons of the two conversations. The module received mixed reviews; when asked if the video portrayed real problems that may occur in a doctor-drug representative interaction, 84% of doctors and 50% of representatives agreed. While the final product remained controversial, it did spark useful debate and awareness about the issue of unethical drug promotion. Other educational institutions have requested copies, and the WHO Ethical Criteria for Pharmaceutical Promotion is receiving new attention. The creators of the video encourage feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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