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Tight regulation of French drug reps mean French doctors get more balanced information than doctors in the US

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6964 (Published 03 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6964

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Ann Silversides
  1. 1Toronto

Limits placed by French authorities on what can be said and done by drug company sales representatives mean doctors in France receive more balanced information than their counterparts in the United States and Canada, a meeting on the regulation of drug promotion and the protection of public health was told.

Drug sales representatives in France provided information on harmful side effects of drugs in 60% of their encounters with doctors, but their counterparts in the US and Canada provided this information in fewer than 40% of encounters, according to results from a three country study of interactions between family doctors and drug sales representatives.

The French doctors were also rarely offered free samples (4% of them compared with 75% of doctors at the Vancouver site), and only 0.2% of French doctors were offered lunch or other food, compared with 23% in Vancouver and 24% at the US site …

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