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Do financial relationships between
physicians and drug companies
influence prescribing practices?

In a study published in The Oncologist, physicians treating certain cancers who consistently received payments from a cancer drug’s manufacturer were more likely to prescribe that drug over alternative treatments. The study evaluated physician prescribing of orally-administered cancer drugs in 2013 through 2015 for four cancers: prostate cancer (abiraterone, enzalutamide), kidney cancer (axitinib, everolimus, pazopanib, sorafenib, sunitinib), lung cancer (afatinib, erlotinib), and chronic myeloid leukemia (dasatinib, imatinib, nilotinib).

Among the 2,766 physicians in the study, those who received payments for a drug within three onsecutive years had increased prescribing of that drug for kidney cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, and lung cancer, but not for prostate cancer. These findings add to a growing body of work that suggests physicians are more likely to use drugs made by companies that have given them money in the past, said lead author Dr. Aaron Mitchell, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Antihormone Therapy linked
with higher heart failure risk
in prostate cancer patients

Androgen deprivation therapy was associated with a 72 percent higher risk of heart failure in a study of patients with prostate cancer.

In The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study, incidence rates of heart failure per 100 person-years within a 1-year follow-up period were 4.00 and 1.89 for androgen deprivation therapy users and nonusers, respectively. (A person-year is the number of years of follow-up multiplied by the number of people in the study.) The study included data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 on 1244 patient who received androgen deprivation therapy and 1806 patients who did not.

The results of our study provide information for prostate cancer patients to be aware of the potential heart failure risk of receiving androgen deprivation therapy, the authors wrote. We recommend that clinicians should counsel their patients regarding modifiable heart failure risk factors, suggest they improve their lifestyle, and further provide relevant cardiovascular examination for prostate cancer patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy.

Prof. Waris Qidwai awarded 
Fellowship by Royal 
College of Physicians

LONDON: Prof. Waris Qidwai en eminent physician in Family Medicine has been honoured by the Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom with its fellowship of Faculty of Public Health. A communication received from the Royal College says that “He has received this award through pathway of distinction, based on his contributions in Public Health and Health Systems. Professor Qidwai is qualified both in Family Medicine and Public Health, a rare and unique credential to have in Pakistan.

He had earlier earned fellowships of College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan College of General Practitioners, Sri Lanka and International Fellow, Royal College of General Practitioners, United Kingdom.

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