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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2010 May;135(3):67-70. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1244818. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

[Effects of a mandatory guideline that prohibit hospital doctors from accepting any form of benefits in any form from the pharmaceutical industry].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Universit√§tsklinikum Jena.



Several hospitals have issued their own guidelines that regulate the conduct of staff members toward the pharmaceutical industry. The effect of theses guidelines on the attitude of the doctors toward the pharmaceutical industry in Germany has so far been unknown. This study investigated whether hospital doctors with guidelines and those without guidelines differ in their attitude toward the pharmaceutical industry.


A retrospective analysis was undertaken to determine the influence of hospital guidelines on the attitude of doctors toward the pharmaceutical industry. In May 2008 all doctors in intensive care of a hospital with and one without guidelines were asked anonymously by a questionnaire about their dealings with the pharmaceutical industry. The response rate was 64.9 % (37/57) and 55.1 % (59/107) respectively. The cooperation rate in both groups was 100 %.


In the hospital with guidelines every doctor was on average carrying 0.56 +/- 0.64 pharmaceutical advertising gifts with a company logo, while the average in the institution without guidelines was 1.2 +/- 0.61 advertising gifts (p = 0.026). Whereas 49 % of doctors with guidelines considered the acceptance of advertising gifts as not questionable, 81 % without guidelines did (p = 0.001; RRR = 0.65; 95 % CI = 0.48-0.91). Furthermore, 70 % of doctors in the institution with guidelines compared with 92 % of those doctors in the hospital without guidelines believed that the advertising practices of the pharmaceutical industry had no influence on their prescribing behaviour (p = 0.010; RRR = 3.6; 95 % CI = 1.36-9.52). Both groups of doctors are convinced that other doctors are more influenced by the pharmaceutical industry than they are themselves (51 % with and 37 % without guidelines, p = 0.207). 70 % and 90 %, respectively of all participants considered hospital guidelines setting standards of conduct toward the pharmaceutical industry and those not sponsored by industry to have a positive effect. Every other doctor additionally stated the advice by the pharmaceutical industry was not helpful for his work.


Hospital guidelines on relations with the pharmaceutical industry appear to further a critical attitude by physicians regarding the pharmaceutical industry.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart. New York.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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