Academic Detailing and Counter Detailing

It has been a few years since AHRQ has begun to use stimulus money to promote targeted academic detailing projects in the United States. Pfizer's CEO is just recently on record that this kind of conflict-of-interest behavior — where trained clinician consultants visit physicians, pharmacists, nurses, other clinicians, and health care system decisionmakers nationwide to share unbiased, noncommercial information about medications and other therapeutic options with the goal of improving paitent care — must be stopped.  Academic detailing, he insists, is directly analogous to commercial  pharmaceutical company funded detailing and if the latter is increasingly subject to sunshine and disclosure requirements, so should the former be.

Now, why would Pfizer want to track the path of academic detailing done by the government or at the government's direction? Would shadowing the government-sponsored academic detailiers to counter-detail with commercially prepared or selected materials be the next logical step?  And then would the government counter counter academic detail? And Pfizer renew its commercial detailing efforts in the wake of every government sponsored academic detailing visit?

Would any health care provider or decision maker have any time in the day to do anything other than meet and greet prescription drug educators/detailers?  Is that the best and highest use of the scarce clinical time of primary care providers, for instance?

Of course the fight for the hearts and minds of those clinicians and decisionmakers who control our nation's total drug spend is no joke.

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