Pharmaceutical opioid marketing and physician prescribing behavior
Health Economics (United Kingdom)
Physicians' relationships with the pharmaceutical industry have recently come under public scrutiny, particularly in the context of opioid drug prescribing. This study examines the effect of doctor-industry marketing interactions on subsequent prescribing patterns of opioids using linked Medicare Part D and Open Payments data for the years 2014–2017. Results indicate that both the number and the dollar-value of marketing visits increase physicians' patented opioid claims. Furthermore, direct-to-physician marketing of safer abuse-deterrent formulations of opioids is the primary driver of positive and persistent spillovers on the prescribing of less safe generic opioids - a result that we show appears to be driven by insurance coverage policies. These findings suggest that pharmaceutical marketing efforts may have unintended public health implications.
Link to Published Version
Beilfuss, S., & Linde, S. (2021). Pharmaceutical opioid marketing and physician prescribing behavior. Health Economics, 30(12), 3159–3185. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.4424