Physicians and the pharmaceutical industry


Category : Medical Rants

Will bans on drug industry sponsorship have unintended consequences for patients?

Bob Doherty writes a very thoughtful piece on the pros and cons of pharmaceutical physician financial relationships.  I personally have struggled with this concept through the years.  His piece has made me think even more about the issue.  He has successfully made me second guess myself.  Bravo!


Comments (2)

The difficulty with the reps is that they push the brand name meds. Who uses brand name keflex or glucophage XR, when either is available for $4 at most major discount chain pharmacies? Samples are supposed to be for a partial prescription to see how a medicine works on a patient, but many physicians/NPs/PAs use samples to get friends and family members “free” meds, which are supported by patients who buy brand name meds. The indigent patients with proper income requirements can get free meds from the drug companies. What I also see is local doctors trying to buy their patients with free samples for 3-4 months of meds, even to the patients who can afford the meds or have Tricare on base, which has no copay for meds at base pharmacies. For privately insured patients, most generic copays are less than $10 a month. Another problem with samples is on recalls, and samples are not well tracked in the medical record.

DB, as you know, I’ve been sounding this warning for over 2 years. Most physicians want meetings like ACP to continue in their present form, but they have largely remained silent. By the time they see the impending results of the inquisition it will be too late to save these conferences.

The agitators who want all support banned are in a very small minority but they are getting most of the press.

If support is banned, and organizations like ACP try to continue the meetings in their present form they will have to raise registration fees substantially. Once that happens attendance will drop to levels that will no longer support the meetings.

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