Doctors are under increasing pressure from drug companies to push expensive drugs.
Further undercutting confidence in the medical system, according to a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Big Pharm continues to crank up the incentives for doctors to prescribe expensive new generation drugs although just as effective cheaper versions are available.
The intense financial pressures along with the pressure from advertising directly to consumers and other psychological pressures may flow through to physician judgments. The new study come on the heals of others that have questioned the use of financial for doctors.
Financial incentives range from direct payouts to doctors for prescribing certain drugs, to trips and dinners. Often the junkets are under cover of “seminars” and “training”. Payouts by drug companies to doctors, hospitals and clinics for the use of certain drugs have been found t be in the tens of thousands of dollars in some cases.
The study looked at data available from 2004 found that.
Drug companies paid over 23 billion in sales strategies and incentives to doctors, about twice as much as a few years ago.
Paid an average of $10,000 per physician practicing in the U.S. for things like meals, trips and conferences
Gave an average of $21,000 in free drug samples per physician practicing in the U.S.
Beware the drug company bearing gifts.