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Industry payments to doctors drive surge in gabapentinoid prescribing, study finds

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 12 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4672
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Drug makers’ payments to doctors have helped to drive the growing use of gabapentinoids, says a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.1

The frequent off-label prescribing of this class of drugs has attracted criticism on both sides of the Atlantic this year because of the paucity of evidence.

Researchers from Yale University and the University of Connecticut compared Medicare and Medicaid prescribing data from 2014 to 2016 with the Open Payments database, in which drug companies are legally required to record all gifts and payments to doctors. They looked at the original gabapentinoid, gabapentin, approved as Pfizer’s Neurontin in 1993, which now has several generic competitors. They also measured prescribing of two branded slow-release versions of gabapentin, Gralise and Horizant, and of the other drug …

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