Student understanding of the relationship between the health professions and the pharmaceutical industry

Michael S. Monaghan, Kimberly A. Galt, Paul D. Turner, Bruce L. Houghton, Eugene C. Rich, Ronald J. Markert, Brenda Bergman-Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background: Pharmaceutical sales representatives and direct-to-consumer advertising may influence physician practices, particularly prescribing. Identifying the relevant knowledge and attitudes students possess about the pharmaceutical industry may help professional curricula address these influences. Purposes: To assess knowledge and attitudes toward pharmaceutical industry marketing, ethical principles guiding drug company interactions, pharmaceutical sales representatives as a source of drug information, and confidence level in addressing consumers seeking a prescription from a direct-to-consumer advertisement among senior-level medical, PharmD, and nurse practitioner students. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used to assess student knowledge and attitudes of four domains associated with the pharmaceutical industry. Results: Significant deficiencies were noted in student knowledge of pharmaceutical marketing expenditures, professional ethics regarding interactions with drug companies, and accuracy of drug information from sales representatives. Conclusions: Health professional students' knowledge and attitudes toward the pharmaceutical industry are formed prior to graduation. Professional curricula must address the influences of sales representatives before postgraduate training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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