Determinants for the adoption of angiotensin II receptor blockers by general practitioners

Jacoba P. Greving, Petra Denig*, Willem Jan van der Veen, Frank W. Beltman, Miriam C.J.M. Sturkenboom, Flora M. Haaijer-Ruskamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Results of studies conducted 10-20 years ago show the prominence of commercial information sources in the adoption process of new drugs. Over the past decade, there has been a growing emphasis on practicing evidence-based medicine in drug prescribing. This raises the question whether professional information sources currently counterbalance the influence of commercial information sources in the adoption process. The aim of this study was to identify determinants influencing the adoption of a new drug class, the angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), by general practitioners (GPs) in The Netherlands. A retrospective study was conducted to assess prevalent ARB prescribing for hypertensive patients using the Integrated Primary Care Information (IPCI) database. We conducted a survey among all GPs who participated in the IPCI project in 2003 to assess their exposure to commercial and professional information sources, perceived benefits and risks of ARBs, perceived influences of the professional network, and general characteristics. Multilevel logistic regression was applied to identify determinants of ARB adoption while adjusting for patient characteristics. Data were obtained from 70 GPs and 9470 treated hypertensive patients. A total of 1093 patients received ARBs (12%). GPs who reported frequent use of commercial information sources were more likely to prescribe ARBs routinely in preference to other antihypertensives, whereas GPs who used a prescribing decision support system and those who were involved in pharmacotherapy education were less likely to prescribe ARBs. Other factors that were associated with higher levels of ARB adoption included a more positive perception of ARBs regarding their effectiveness in lowering blood pressure, and working in single-handed practices or in rural areas. Aside from determinants related to the patient population, adoption of a new drug class among Dutch GPs is still determined more by their reliance on promotional information than by their use of professional information sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2890-2898
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  • Antihypertensive treatment
  • Decision making
  • Drug utilization
  • Primary care
  • The Netherlands


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