The Accuracy of Drug Information From Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

Michael G. Ziegler, MD; Pauline Lew, PharmD; Brian C. Singer, PharmD
JAMA. 1995;273(16):1296-1298. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520400066047.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective.  —To provide quantitative data about the accuracy of the information about drugs presented to physicians by pharmaceutical sales representatives.

Design.  —One hundred six statements about drugs made during 13 presentations by pharmaceutical representatives were analyzed for accuracy. Statements were rated inaccurate if they contradicted the 1993 Physicians' Desk Reference or material quoted or handed out by the sales representative.

Setting.  —University teaching hospital.

Results.  —Twelve (11%) of 106 statements about drugs were inaccurate. All 12 inaccurate statements were favorable toward the promoted drug, whereas 39 (49%) of 79 accurate statements were favorable (P=.005). None of 15 statements about competitors' drugs were favorable, but all were accurate, significantly (P<.001) differing from statements about promoted drugs. In a survey of 27 physicians who attended these presentations, seven (26%) recalled any false statement made by a pharmaceutical representative, and 10 (37%) said information from the representatives influenced the way they prescribed drugs.

Conclusions.  —Eleven percent of the statements made by pharmaceutical representatives about drugs contradicted information readily available to them. Physicians generally failed to recognize the inaccurate statements.(JAMA. 1995;273:1296-1298)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.