Are Doctors Too Cozy with Drug Companies?
Article revised 3/22/2017 –May 20, 2007
Do free lunches influence doctors? Most physicians would say no way. They think they always do what is best for patients. But free pizza may have an impact. Most doctors think they are way too smart to be influenced by drug companies. Physicians believe that they choose the best medicine for their patients based on science, not bribery. For decades many doctors in America accepted free lunches for themselves and their staffs. In many cases it was “just” pizza. But drug companies often tried to outdo their competitors. Especially influential and busy clinics sometimes got gourmet meals. This practice seemed so innocuous that it was taken for granted. It went along with the pens, pads, calendars, coffee mugs and other doodads drug companies love to give away. Most physicians convinced themselves that such innocuous gifts had no impact on prescribing patterns. They were certain that little gifts did not lead to favorable treatment for drug companies.
Free Lunches DO Make A Difference!
Finish reading: Are Doctors Too Cozy with Drug Companies? – The People’s Pharmacy
HWH Comment: I hear more stories about trips to warm places with beaches or casinos than I do pizza lunches. Although they usually give the office workers the lunches and the doctors the expensive get-aways. A few times a year – all expenses paid.
The doctor, not the pharmaceutical company, should be treating the patient.
The pharmaceuticals and doctors have the same relationship that grocery stores and food manufacturers have. The brand name will pay a price to have their product strategically placed in the grocery store, or even placed at all. Smaller companies don’t have the same sway nor can they afford to pay to place their product. It’s like a mafia operation, you want me to sell your product in my store or chain of stores, then you have to give me something.
The pharmaceuticals do the same. Both are unethical and give larger companies an advantage, but when you’re health is being parlayed about the country (and out of the country) at swanky resorts, golf courses, high price hookers and fine dining with expensive wine, one needs to take a hard look and support zero tolerance for these actions.
No payment in any form to influence in any way the drugs doctors use on their patients. Period. No discussion. End it.
They keep saying it doesn’t make any difference. Yeah, that’s what Madison Avenue has been saying since they started Ad Agencies. People won’t buy a product because they advertise it. We all know that’s not true. Just pointing it out, that a product is there that nobody knew about is necessary as a foundation from which they begin the process of the Ad.
After that, it’s crap shoot. With some people, no matter how much they see a product advertised, they won’t buy it, because they don’t want it. Others can be persuaded to buy a product they wouldn’t otherwise have bought, simply by knowing it exists, knowing that others buy it, or because they fell for the Ad design.
Some drugs known to be harmful dinosaur drugs are still being prescribed because of the kick-backs.
When you have to pay a doctor to prescribe a drug, then you aren’t selling a very good product. Go back to the lab, make a better drug absent all the horrific side effects and the drug will sell itself. Pharmaceuticals are lazy. They want the next new drug on the market before it’s ready and they don’t care who gets killed or permanently damaged or how much they have to pay doctors to sell it.
The promise of money, trips and gifts is intoxicating, especially when you don’t have to lift a finger. All the doctors have to do is get out their prescription pads and bells start ringing as their net worth increases while they daydream of the next beach resort including every amenity – a dream come true with nothing more than a stroke of their pen.
The pharmaceuticals can’t influence the patient, but the doctor can. If a patient doesn’t want a drug that a doctor gets kicked-backed for, the doctor acts in an angry and impatient way that signals the patient they better do what the doctor says. Only problem there, besides the threat implied by going against a doctor’s instruction is the patient ends up not taking the drug. They buy it, but they don’t take it.
When the patient eventually tells the doctor, the doctor gets vindictive. That’s a common occurrence in the medical profession and a problem that nobody talks about.
Time too address vindictive doctors – and nurses.
It’s the kick-back that motivates the doctor to be kind to the patient, not the prescribing of the right drug for the patient. Success to them is you taking the drug, not you getting cured. Their reward is a trip not you feeling better.
Pharmaceuticals don’t give kick-backs for every drug they make – only some of them. Still, a pharmaceutical agent rarely arrives at the office empty-handed. Like your family, they want to be the distant uncle or aunt who visits now and then – always bearing gifts, so you never forget them.