Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Lessons Learned from a Pharma-Free Practice Transformation Public Deposited

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  • Background: Academic medical centers are examining relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and making changes to limit interactions. Most doctors, however, practice outside of academic institutions and see pharmaceutical detailers and accept drug samples and gifts. Little guidance for practicing physicians exists about transforming practices to become pharma-free. Consideration must be given to the impact on practice culture, staff views, and patient needs. Methods: A small private practice, setting out to transform into a pharma-free clinic, used a practice transformation process that examined the industry presence in the clinic, educated the doctors on potential conflicts of interest, and improved practice flow. Staff were given the opportunity to share concerns, and their issues were acknowledged. Educational interventions were developed to help providers keep current. Finally, efforts were made to educate patients about the policy. Results: The clinic recorded the degree to which it was detailed. Loss of gifts, keeping current with new drugs, and managing without samples were noted concerns. Policy change champions developed strategies to address concerns. Discussion: A shift in practice culture to a pharma-free clinic is achievable and maintainable over time. Barriers to success can be identified and overcome with attention given to careful gathering of information, staff input, and stakeholder education. (J Am Board Fam Med 2013;26:332–338.)
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  • Evans, D., Hartung, D. M., Beasley, D., & Fagnan, L. J. (2013). Breaking up is hard to do: Lessons learned from a pharma-free practice transformation. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM, 26(3), 332-338. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2013.03.120268
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