Concern over drug familiarisation programs for patients

EXPERTS in ethics and quality use of medicines have voiced concern over the continued use of patient familiarisation programs, suggesting they are more about pitching to consumers than good clinical practice.

The comments follow last week's announcement by Boehringer Ingelheim that doctors will be able to enrol their atrial fibrillation patients in a program that will see them receive free dabigatran (Pradaxa).

The national product familiarisation program (PFP) will allow doctors to enrol up to 10 patients to receive the drug -