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Thread: Do you think drug companies influence doctors' prescribing habits?

  1. #1
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    Arrow Do you think drug companies influence doctors' prescribing habits?

    Do you think drug companies influence doctors' prescribing habits?

    Oops...Its somewhat personal na..!!
    Thank you GOD

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    NO COMMENT!

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    I do believe that doctors could be easily influenced to increase sales of medicines by offering them all kinds of rewards and gifts. But then it is not a surprising thing because the entire nation believe that the criteria of success is money and possessions money can buy. take any section of society. they are greedy in one way or other. and 99.9999999 % will side with anybody who is willing to offer something in return. so why blame doctors only. we are a nation of greedy people

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    zolt is offline Banned From MedicalGeek
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    of course that's the bitter truth everywhere!

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    ya. i blame both d docs as well as aggressive marketting of pharmac companies, especially their stratergy of gifting docs promotional materials like pens,pads,sweets,etc.

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    Its always disputed matter.! The doctors who are receiving such things are in favour of it and the others are not.

    This is practical thing i am saying.! I am neither such doctor nor the son of such doctor.!
    This is just practical thing.! The final judge is that doctor to whom the company is offering.! If the drug is benificial to patient (mass of patients) ,he should prescribe that drug. no consideration should be given by us whether its being unethical or not. but If its not suitable to patients, then he should not.

    And @puravida
    Greedy people are everywhere. Not in this country only.! There are many examples of doctors present in this country who is working selflessly.! See in your locality .! you will find atleast one.!

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    Certainly yes..

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    Haha, I find this question highly amusing.

    How much did pharmaceutical companies spend on advertising to doctors (call it what you want.. trips, pens, cups, free lunch, etc) last year? I don't know the figure but I'm going to guess that it's not a negligible sum. Do you think they do that for charity, or fun? No, it is an investment, and they'd not keep doing it if it didn't work.

    As one doctor told me: "I don't speak to drug reps, there is no such thing as a free lunch, they'd not do it if it didn't work. Plus, with my salary, can't I afford my own food?".

    Edit: I don't believe that doctors (at least in UK) consciously prescribe something they know isn't as good as something else, or more expensive with no benefit. However, drug reps are clever and will try to make things sound (not by lying but by using relative instead of absolute risk reduction and other such bs) better or more cost-effective, they'll try to make you think of their drug first, etc. The doctors are innocent in so far as that they don't intend to prescribe "wrong", but amny are certainly guilty of being so gullibe as to think that they'll not be influenced and don't sift the information from the reps carefully enough.
    Last edited by Ingen; 03-11-2008 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Added a section on conscious/subconscious decisions

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    Here in Russia the situation is pretty much the same. Drug company's reps visit doctors, give them colourful papers describing benefits of their drugs, explain why it is better than the others and of course pens, cups, calendars, even monthly payments as long as doctor is prescribing the "good drug" are offered.
    What drug company's reps usually don't do is tell the truth about side effects, partly because clical trials don't conform to the GCP standarts and thus cannot be evaluated properly and partly because representative's work is to sell the drug, and not to make doctor think that their drugs might be not as useful as a rep tells they are.
    So a good doctor should be familiar with GCP standarts and point out some doubtful things on the first place.
    I also thing it would be a great practice not to take the gifts offered by reps, because if you do, this implies you take a part in some drug companies' mission "to sell the drug and to get as much money as possible by any means".

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    Default Drug companies to reveal grant practices

    By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer
    1 hour, 8 minutes ago



    WASHINGTON - For years, the nation's largest drug and medical device manufacturers have courted doctors with consulting fees, free trips to exotic locales and by sponsoring the educational conferences that physicians attend.

    Those financial ties don't have to be disclosed in most cases and can lead to arrangements that some say improperly influence medical care.

    Now, under the threat of regulation from Congress, the two industries promise to be more forthcoming about their spending. A dozen of the nation's leading drug and device makers have told Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that they have plans or are working on plans to publicly disclose grants to outside groups. The details will be provided on each company's Web sites.

    Watchdog groups say the companies are trying to head off legislation that would require public disclosure of their giving.

    "If they were doing this out of the goodness of their heart, they would have done so decades ago," said Dr. Peter Lurie of the consumer group Public Citizen.

    Of particular interest to Grassley is the money that companies spend on continuing medical education. Physicians go to such conferences to fulfill their license requirements and to keep up to date with the latest treatment trends. Professional associations and companies frequently ask drug and device makers to help pay for the conferences. Recently, Grassley asked 15 companies whether they planned to follow the lead of Eli Lilly & Co., which now discloses its grants to such programs.

    "If your company does not yet have any efforts or plans in place, please explain why not," Grassley wrote.

    The responses are in. They are wide-ranging, but mostly what the senator wanted to hear. Indeed, many of the companies said they would go beyond disclosing grants for medical education. Some companies said they would also disclose payments to patient advocacy groups such as the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association. Boston Scientific said it was developing a system that even discloses certain payments to physicians.

    Medtronic Inc. said it will post payments for professional meetings and patient groups on its Web site beginning May 1. AstraZeneca PLC said it would do the same on Aug. 1, providing the amount spent and the purpose of the financing. AstraZeneca gets between 4,000 and 5,000 grant applications each year and funds about a third of them.

    Merck and Co. was vague about its plans, but committed to the concept. "We are currently in the process of developing an action plan," the company wrote to Grassley.

    Amgen Corp. and Abbott Laboratories said they had formed working groups to determine how to compile and display their grants.

    Shering-Plough Corp., however, told the senator what he didn't want to hear: "We do not publish or have plans at the moment to publish a list of charitable contributions or educational grants that medical organizations have received from us."

    Grassley said, overall, he was happy with the responses.

    "The way these companies are making information about financial relationships open to scrutiny is the right thing to do," he said.

    Two other companies said they already were disclosing third-party payments. The two, Zimmer Inc. and Stryker Orthopedics Inc., avoided criminal prosecution over financial inducements paid to surgeons to use their products, prosecutors announced last year. The companies agreed to new corporate compliance procedures and federal monitoring. Zimmer also had to pay the government $169.5 million.

    The hip-and-knee industry was the subject of a recent Senate Aging Committee hearing titled "Surgeons for Sale." Companies routinely paid doctors $5,000 every three months for providing information on market trends and operating-room activity. However, the reports typically offered only cursory descriptions and often were duplicated from one quarter to the next. Also, companies sponsored consultant meetings at resort locations. The meetings lasted just a few hours each day. The physicians who presented information at the meetings spoke for as little as 10 minutes.

    "Although the remainder of the day was available for recreational activities paid for by the company, the consultants were compensated $5,000 for a full day of work," said Gregory E. Demske, an assistant inspector general.

    Eli Lilly began listing its grants last year. It gave $18.9 million in the second quarter of 2007, according to the Prescription Policy Project, a Boston-based group that promotes policies to reduce conflicts of interest.

    "They support those organizations which they believe will have a positive impact on their drug sales," said David Rothman of Columbia University and associate director of the Prescription Policy Project. "It's self-evident but important."

    If all of the companies follow through with their commitments to Grassley, there also would be widespread disclosure of how much money they give patient advocacy groups. The groups rely on industry for much of their financing. For example, the American Heart Association said donations from the pharmaceutical and device industry make up about 6 percent of its annual income, and totaled $48.3 million in the organization's latest fiscal year.

    "Donations from corporations, including the pharmaceutical and device industry, allow us to further enhance our programs and outreach, and to bring objective science and the highest quality of public education and information to more people," said Maggie Francis, the association's communications manager.

    Grassley and Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., have introduced legislation that would require drug and device makers to disclose anything of value given to physicians, such as payments, gifts or travel.

    The disclosure of medical education grants is an extension of that concept. Last year, the staff for the Senate Finance Committee issued a report that said the drug industry may be using the "medical education industry to deliver favorable messages about off-label uses that the drug companies cannot legally deliver on their own."

    The committee report noted that Warner-Lambert, now owned by Pfizer Inc., paid $430 million to settle claims that medical conferences it sponsored were used to illegally promote off-label uses of the anti-seizure drug Neurontin. Serono-Laboratories paid $704 million to settle a similar claim concerning the AIDS drug Serostim

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