In an effort to ensure that all physicians in Italy have access to reliable, unbiased evidence on drug effectiveness and safety, the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA) has sponsored a program to disseminate independent information that is free of drug company influence. The program is described in this week's PLoS Medicine.
Lorenzo Moja (Italian Cochrane Centre, Milan, Italy) and colleagues say that Italian doctors still rely heavily upon the pharmaceutical industry for their information needs. For example, a recent survey showed that general practitioners in Italy receive eleven visits per week by drug company sales representatives, and that many doctors believe that the information they receive from these reps is complete and sufficiently reliable.
The AIFA program involved translating Clinical Evidence (www.clinicalevidence.com), a compendium of the best available evidence on treating a wide range of common conditions, into Italian and distributing it freely.
Citation: Moja L, Moschetti I, Liberati A, Manfrini R, Deligant C, et al. (2007) Using Clinical Evidence in a national continuing medical education program in Italy. PLoS Med 4(5): e113. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040113
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Caption: Doctors Using ECCE by Region (Red: urban areas; green: rural areas).
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