Effects of Conflict-of-Interest Policies in Psychiatry Residency on Antidepressant Prescribing

Issue Brief

Effects of Conflict-of-Interest Policies in Psychiatry Residency on Antidepressant Prescribing

Andrew Epstein, David Asch, Colleen Barry

Concerns about the pharmaceutical industry’s influence in academic medical centers and on medical education have led many medical schools and teaching hospitals to adopt conflict-of-interest (COI) policies. Although the restrictiveness of these policies differs, the goal is the same: to shield physicians-in-training from the persuasive aspects of pharmaceutical promotion. But do these policies work? This Issue Brief examines how COI policies affect the prescribing patterns of antidepressants, one of the most heavily promoted drug classes in the past decade. As such, it provides the first empirical evidence of the effects of COI policies in residency on the subsequent prescribing patterns of practicing physicians.