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Independent prescribing advice affects doctors' behaviour

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 04 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1066
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. Quebec

    A series of printed letters from a credible and trusted source had a clinically significant impact on doctors' prescribing of drugs to newly treated patients, a new study has found (CMAJ 2004;171:1057-61).

    Researchers from Canada and the United States found that the probability of prescribing a drug recommended in Therapeutics Letter (, rather than another drug in the same class, increased by 30% in the three months after the mailing of the letter, relative to the preceding three months, adjusted for any before-after changes in the control group (relative risk 1.30; 95% confidence interval 1.13 to 1.52). No single letter achieved statistical …

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