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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


LOBO, Elena et al. Relationship between physician and industry in Aragon (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.4, pp.336-342. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To describe the relationship between industry and physicians and to analyze the physician characteristics associated with the probability of receiving benefits from industry in Aragon (Spain). Methods: We carried out an observational, cross-sectional study in which Aragonese physicians (north-east region in Spain) from public and private settings completed an anonymous questionnaire on a web page between June and November 2008. Visits/month with industry, samples, gifts, reimbursements and payments were used as dependant variables in the regression analyses. Year of medical license, specialty, work setting, time spent on direct care, articles read/month and being a resident's tutor were used as independent variables. Results: A total of 659 questionnaires were considered valid for the analysis. Overall, 87% (n=573) of the respondents reported they had received some benefit in the previous year and 90.1% (n=593) reported having held meetings with industry representatives monthly. Non-clinical specialists received fewer gifts (odds ratio [OR]=0.38; 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 0.18-0.77), reimbursements (OR=0.14; 95%CI: 0.06-0.35) and payments (OR=0.30; 95%CI: 0.13-0.74) than their clinical colleagues. The probability of receiving reimbursements (OR=0.37; 95%CI: 0.15-0.89) and payments (OR=0.39; 95%CI: 0.20-0.77) was lower in primary care physicians. Conclusions: This study, performed in a sample of physicians from a southern European region, demonstrates differences in the intensity of the physician-industry relationship depending on physician specialty and work setting. These results provide important information for improving transparency and for future research on the appropriateness and efficiency of prescription in Spain and other countries with similar health systems.

Keywords : Industry; Pharmacy policy; Professional competency; Public health policy.

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