Partnerships with pharmaceutical companies – 5/19/11
Q: Georgia is being approached by pharmaceutical companies to partner in promoting cessation.
Georgia is in need of examples of state tobacco programs partnering with pharmaceutical companies whereby the result of the partnership reached the desired outcome or will likely reach the desired outcome on any of the 4 goal areas of tobacco control (protection from SHS exposure, prevention of tobacco use initiation, promoting cessation, and identifying / eliminating tobacco-related disparities). Does any state have a positive experience with Pfizer? If so, please explain the partnership.
Also, do states have a set of written standards or guidelines for entering into partnerships with pharmaceutical companies? Please share any guidance documents or guidelines your state uses.
- Idaho: Idaho does have a positive relationship with Pfizer that has been going for about 3 years. Pfizer has been a very active participant in Idaho’s statewide tobacco free alliance.
- Missouri: In Missouri, Pfizer funded a one-day Cessation Summit in October 2010.
Missouri had applied for a Partnership for Prevention grant to hold a summit, but the grant was not approved. The Missouri Public Health Association (which was taking the lead on the grant) was then approached by Pfizer, offering to fund the summit. (The funding was not a large amount, basically covering supplies and food.)
Pfizer attended the summit and participated in the discussions, but did not force/interject their corporate views or their products into the discussion. Subsequent to the summit, Pfizer (through their lobbyist) worked with Missouri’s state budget office, Missouri’s Medicaid program, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (specifically the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program [CTCP] and the Office of Epidemiology) to develop estimates of costs and benefits to the Medicaid program of offering a comprehensive cessation benefit to all Medicaid beneficiaries. The interest and need to move the Medicaid program in this direction was also supported by the lobbyists from the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and American Heart Association as well as advocates from Tobacco Free Missouri and the Missouri State Medical Association. Pfizer pushed the issue by sharing with the state budget office information, data and reports of Massachusetts’ experience. Again, they did not push their corporate views or products, (at least not outwardly in the meetings where developing the estimates was discussed).
Currently, the Missouri Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) is looking at working with Pfizer to share their information on smoking cessation benefits being offered by health plans, large businesses, etc. The CTCP learned that Pfizer had this kind of information at the cessation summit. This will be used to update the databases maintained by the state tobacco quitline.
- Nebraska: The Tobacco Free Nebraska Program collaborated with the Nebraska Pharmacists Association and Pfizer in the development of a guide titled, “Nebraska Pharmacist Association Tobacco Cessation Counseling Toolkit.” This was a collaborative effort with the intent to promote cessation and give the pharmacists tools to help promote cessation and the quitline. The lead agency was the Nebraska Pharmacists Association and the intent of the Guide is to educate pharmacists on Nebraska Tobacco Cessation Medicaid benefit, the forms to refer patients to the quitline –both Medicaid patients and the general public - as well as providing some of the Rx for Change materials. The toolkit also includes the Tobacco Free Nebraska materials order form and other resources that can be accessed via the state tobacco control program. One page of the booklet features a chart which highlights all the medication options for tobacco cessation, so Chantix is included, along with other products on that particular page. The development of the toolkit was a joint effort between the three entities. This was a positive experience with Pfizer for the Tobacco Free Nebraska Program, but again please note that the Nebraska Pharmacists Association was the actual lead agency of the three entities on the project.
Tobacco Free Nebraska has also provided the Nebraska Pfizer reps with Quitline cards to distribute.
Tobacco Free Nebraska does not have a formal written set of standards/guidelines for entering into partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.
- Nevada: The State of Nevada Health Division is having a great experience working with a representative from Pfizer. He is very active in many wellness programs statewide and in Washoe County. He is chair of the Chamber of Commerce in Reno and plays an important role in the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition statewide. This is not a written partnership, but one of action.
- West Virginia: West Virginia’s Division of Tobacco Prevention does not currently have direct partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.
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