AMA passes privacy resolutions

February 1, 2002
Pharmaceutical Representative

The Chicago-based American Medical Association has issued a report to its board of trustees examining the use of physician prescribing data by pharmaceutical companies.

The Chicago-based American Medical Association has issued a report to its board of trustees examining the use of physician prescribing data by pharmaceutical companies. The report, which was released at the organization's 2001 meeting, was compiled as a result of Resolution 207, which directed the AMA to examine ways to prevent pharmacies from releasing physician-specific information and prevent companies from having access to that information.

The report found that use of prescribing data by drug companies can be useful to physicians in that it allows companies to "direct products and services and drug samples to appropriate physicians and avoids overwhelming physicians with materials that do not pertain to their practice."

However, the report also found a perception among doctors that prescribing information was being used inappropriately by pharmaceutical sales representatives.

Future actions

As of press time, the AMA had scheduled meetings with several pharmaceutical companies to "communicate physician concerns regarding use of prescribing pattern data." The group also resolved to develop best-practices guidelines pertaining to the use of physician prescribing data, to encourage physicians to report "aggressive or inappropriate" activities by sales representatives to the AMA and to continue its legislative efforts to limit the use of the Drug Enforcement Agency numbers. PR