InPharm reports on how Boehringer Ingelheim have been found in breach of the ABPI’s Code of Conduct over the lack of a prominant statement as to where prescribing information can be found on its Pradaxa website.
The investigation follows a complaint from an anonymous GP alleging that the “for medical professionals only” section of the Pradaxa website was “not sufficiently rigorous to restrict access to health professionals only” and that because of this there was a clear intention from Boehringer Ingelheim “to facilitate the promotion of Pradaxa to the public”.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been surprised by the amazing speed with which patients have learnt about Pradaxa. Perhaps it’s because of the growing use of the internet by seniors or health searches by their family/carers. Whatever the cause I think it’s not surprising that some Doctors are finding this challenging and it’s only set to become more commonplace especially when you compare the quality of the information most of them have so far received in black and white print with the rich online content:
Isn’t it about time we accept that if Patients want it and it’s on the open internet they’re going to find it? That pharma brands are going to reach them through publications in less regulated markets? Surely in 2012 there has to be a much more coordinated approach to publishing such important information?
Perhaps the regulators should stipulate that “for medical professionals only” content should only be made available via links from within accredited websites? I’d imagine the various online CPD validation services or accredited professional networks would make possible platforms for this distribution eg. Sermo, Doctors.net.uk, BMJ’s Doc2Doc, etc.
Perhaps it’s only once we see the ability to reach patients with medical professional data disappear from public visibility that the pharma brands will wake up to the enormous opportunity they have to provide much more effective tools to patients that can give them a much richer and healthier experiences?