The GPs in our practice have not seen drug reps for a number of years now and I avoid attending sponsored meetings. However, it is difficult for me to completely avoid hospitality provided by the pharmaceutical industry because locally provided meetings such as service updates from secondary care and protected learning time sessions provided for all local GPs can involve an element of sponsorship. I also, until 2012, attended a regular RCGP residential update course, which I paid for myself but which also involved some sponsorship. I would estimate the total value of these "benefits in kind" over the past 5 years to total less than £500. I believe that is is important that GPs do consider the role of marketing in the "education" we access and I resolve to record any future sponsorship in more detail in the future.
It is still proving difficult to completely remove any sponsorship from my medical education. Even the Hot Topics course, which involves a fee, had an element of sponsorship (which I ignored). I have joined a PBSGL group which uses pharmaceutical company sponsorship to hire a meeting venue. This amounts to £95 for room hire and £3.25 for tea / coffee and so far I have attended six meetings. Over the next year I aim to record these in more detail as in Section 3.
Over the past year, the PBSGL group I attend has had support from the pharmaceutical industry as per previous declaration but this has now stopped and we provide our own hospitality.